Police Officers Ignored Robbery, Continued Playing Video Game

(ConservativeInsider.org) – When the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go was released, it took the world by storm. Unfortunately, this included two Los Angeles Police Department officers, who ignored a call of a nearby robbery to play the game.

In early 2017, Officers Eric Mitchell and Louis Lozano were called by radio to a robbery at a Macy’s in a mall only 200 yards away. One of the officers said “screw it” after the radio call, according to newly released video recorded in the car the officers were in.

When superiors asked why Mitchell and Lozano did not respond to the call, the pair claimed the area they were in was too loud and they were unable to hear the radio call requesting their presence. Their commanding officer, seeking to trust but verify, checked their dashcam footage, and their story didn’t line up with what was on the video. Rather than catching criminals, the duo wanted to catch rare Pokémon like Snorlax and Togetic.

When confronted by their superior officers, the two claimed they were only talking about the augmented reality game, not playing it. Their claims were not believed, and the pair were subsequently fired by unanimous vote in 2018. Lozano and Mitchell filed an appeal for reinstatement, claiming that dashcam recordings weren’t supposed to monitor “private conversations.” A judge swiftly denied the appeal, calling their logic “flawed.”

Not only did the officers ignore a call for help, but the dashcam footage that was finally released due to a FOIA request reveals that they broke several laws while in pursuit of their Pokémon quarry. While chasing down mythical creatures, the officers tailgated civilians, sped through residential neighborhoods, made an illegal U-turn, and ignored stop signs before eventually driving the wrong way down a one-way road.

As Lozano had been a member of the LAPD for 17 years and Mitchell had been an officer for seven years, the pair apparently thought they were above the law.

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