In California, an appellate court ruled that two Los Angeles police officers were rightfully fired for playing Pokémon Go instead of responding to a robbery. According to reports, the court concluded that the Los Angeles Police Department was justified in terminating Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell for misconduct in 2017.
According to the ruling, on April 15, 2017, a video system in their patrol car showed the police discussing how to catch a Snorlax and attempting to capture the rare Togetic in the game while ignoring a report of several people in the process of robbing a Macy’s in the Crenshaw area.
According to court filings, when a police captain arrived on the spot, he noticed another patrol car parked nearby and questioned why the cops hadn’t replied, so he answered it himself.
According to the court pleadings, the officers claimed they had not heard the radio request for help, but on the patrol car recordings, they were heard discussing whether to respond, and Lozano could be heard saying, “Aw, screw it.”
According to the documents, the police can then be heard for the next 20 minutes discussing the GPS-based Pokémon AR mobile game and driving to various sites to “capture” virtual creatures.
They were fired after a police board of rights unanimously found that the two officers engaged in “unprofessional and embarrassing” conduct that undermined the public’s trust.
The cops requested a court to overturn their firings, claiming that recordings of their private discussions were unlawfully utilised as evidence, but the Superior Court judge refused their request. That decision was upheld by the appeals court.