The California court upheld the firing of two Los Angeles police officers for playing Pokémon GO and failing to respond to a call. In April 2017, during a round of patrol, Officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell received a call from a supervisor reporting a possible robbery at a Macy’s store, but instead of going to the scene, they decided to try to capture Snorlax, one of the Pokémon creatures GO.De according to court documents. when Lozano and Mitchell received the call they remained in a nearby alley. Moments later they can be seen and heard in the patrol’s audio and video records saying that “a Snorlax appeared” at one point in the city and debating the best route to get there.
Snorlax, one of the Pokémon involved | Image: Niantic
“We have four minutes,” Mitchell says in the recording. However, the court showed that officers spent the next 20 minutes spent hunting Pokémon in the game: “For approximately the next 20 minutes, the recording recorded the defendants discussing Pokémon while driving to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their cell phones,” the text reads. On the way to the Snorlax location, Officer Mitchell warned Officer Lozano that ‘a Togetic just appeared.'” The records also captured his reactions to the captures, in which Officer Mitchell can be heard talking about the difficulty of hunting the Togetic, until he finally gets it and says, “At last… the kids are going to be jealous.”
Togetic, the second suspect | Image: Niantic
During their disclaimer, officials stated that they were catching “images” of Pokémon and not playing a game, claiming that Pokémon Go is not a “game” and rather a “social media event” that is not “advertised as a game” by the company. Anyway they admitted that they were chasing Snorlax because they wanted to “catch that mythological creature.” The board of directors that fired the officers after the fact had said that “playing Pokémon Go showed total disregard for the community, wasted resources, violated the public’s trust, and was unprofessional and embarrassing to the Department,” and that the lies reflected “gross negligence, cowardice, lack of consideration and deceit.”
In this note: