Pokemon GO Cited As Reason For Firing LAPD Officers

By Jason Collins | 2 weeks ago

pokemon go

Gaming habits have been known to cause issues in the personal and professional lives of passionate gamers. In fact, gaming is cited as the cause in 15% of divorce cases, people have lost custody over their children, and some have even committed atrocities, like murder, over video games. One of the more peculiar cases where gaming has had real-life implications involves two members of the LAPD force ignoring an ongoing robbery call in order to catch Snorlax and other Pokemon in Niantic’s Pokemon GO video game.

According to Inven Global, an e-sports company, former LAPD police officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchel, have filed a petition against the city of Los Angeles last week for being fired for playing Pokemon GO. For those in need of more context, on April 15, 2017, a robbery at the Macy’s at Crenshaw Mall was taking place, and calls were issued to the police in the vicinity to respond. Naturally, most units nearby, including one unit that was at a homicide crime scene, rushed over to the mall. But not Lozano and Mitchel. The former policemen deliberately ignored the call and proceeded to play Pokemon GO. This was later cited as the reason for their employment termination. Imagine having that on your resume.

Needless to say, the California Court of Appeal denied their petition in its ruling on Friday and affirmed an earlier ruling that the LAPD’s decision to fire the two officers for playing Pokemon GO on the job was justified. By doing so, the court rejected all claims by the former policemen that the department used illegally obtained in-car recordings of private conversations as evidence in court to prove their misconduct. The LAPD Seargent Gomez, who responded to the call, and called for backup, has stated that Lozano and Mitchel haven’t responded to the robbery call in his court testimony.

pokemon go

He sought additional information from the officers after the robbery regarding their actions and whereabouts during the distress. His rather insubordinate subordinates claimed that they hadn’t heard his call for backup due to being in the loud area of the city. However, upon officially reviewing the in-car recording from Lozano and Mitchel’s car, Gomez found out that they not only heard the radio call about the robbery but even discussed whether to respond and assist with the robbery situation. Further reviews revealed that the two officers were playing the Pokemon Go video game, and were pursuing Snorlax on 46th and Leimert instead of pursuing bad guys.

The former policemen faced an extensive list of misconduct violations, including failing to respond to a robbery call, making misleading statements to their superiors, failing to respond over the radio when their unit was called, failing to handle an assigned call, and playing Pokemon Go on duty. Lozano and Mitchel tried to argue that the city violated the law by using the in-car recording in the proceedings, but the court disagreed with them, so they will remain fired. Pokemon Go, a somewhat controversial game, has been the root cause of many issues, including twisted ankles, bruised shins, body injuries, divorces, and now, insubordinate police officers.