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Pokemon Go: Police officers fired for ignoring robbery for catching Snorlax denied appeal

After catching the Snorlax, two officers drove off to catch a Togetic that had popped up on their smartphone.

Snorlax

Image: No Jumper/Twitter


Pokemon Go has been one of the most important mobile games ever since it launched back in 2016. At the time of the launch, players across age groups and professions all around the globe could be seen catching Pokemon in localities, gyms and even malls. Around the same time, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) fired two of its police officers for ignoring an ongoing robbery for catching a Pokemon. Also Read - Did you know you can earn Bitcoin by playing AR game: Here's how

The case dates back to April 2017 when two police officers – Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell – from LAPD’s Southwest Division ignored a request for backup by a fellow police officer at the time of an ongoing robbery for catching a Pokemon. A video recording system in their car captured the two officers discussing how to catch a Snorlax and a Togetic while ignoring the request for backup during an ongoing robbery near their location. Also Read - Top tech news of this week: No need to accept WhatsApp's new privacy policy, Realme affordable laptops and more

As per a report by The Verge, court documents reveal that after deciding not to answer the call, the two police officers moved backwards through the alley and turned away from the mall. The video recording also revealed that the two officers didn’t respond over the radio when their unit was called again. Furthermore, the court filing revealed that for approximately the next 20 minutes, the car video recording system captured the two officers discussing the Snorlax as they drove to different locations where the Pokemon appeared on their smartphones. After catching the Snorlax, two officers drove off to catch a Togetic that had popped up on their smartphone while they were going to catch Snorlax. Also Read - Pokemon Go Fest 2021 start date, how to participate, ticket price, how to book tickets, more details

After a detailed investigation, the two officers were found guilty on multiple accounts including playing Pokemon Go while on duty, failing to help a fellow officer during the time of an ongoing robbery and misleading the investigators.

“Petitioners also denied playing Pokémon Go while on duty. They claimed they were monitoring a “Pokémon tracker” application on their phone, but not playing the game itself. As for “catching” Pokémon, Officer Lozano insisted this referred to “capturing [an] image” of the Pokémon on the tracking application to share with friends, while Officer Mitchell said his statements about “fighting” the Togetic referred to “relaying that information to the groups on my app,” adding that, “in order to take the picture, occasionally, the creature will fight.” Lozano said they were not engaged in a game; rather, it was a “social media event”,” the court filings have revealed.

After getting fired, the two former police officers asked the local court to overturn the ruling claiming the conversation was of private nature. However, the California appellate court ruled that the two former officers were rightly fired for playing Pokemon Go instead of responding to a robbery.

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  • Published Date: January 11, 2022 3:20 PM IST



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