Los Angeles policemen fired for catching Pokémon Go characters instead of robbers after ignoring a call for help

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A Californian court has upheld the dismissal of two former LAPD officers who lost their jobs after they were caught out chasing Pokémon Go characters instead of catching crooks.

After receiving a call to a robbery in progress at a Crenshaw area Macy’s on April 15 2017, the documents released last week say Los Angeles police officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell ignored it in favour of catching Pokémon Go characters.

A police captain who arrived at the scene saw their patrol car parked nearby and wondered why the officers hadn’t responded and answered it himself. An additional unit also broke away from a homicide crime scene to assist, the court documents said.

The investigation accessed recordings from the video system in the officers’ patrol car, where Lozano and Mitchell were heard discussing whether to respond.

“Ah, screw it,” Lozano is heard saying, despite claims they hadn’t heard the radio request.

Court documents say LA police officers ignored a call for backup to a robbery at a Crenshaw area Macy’s, in favour of catching Pokémon Go characters. File image. Credit: Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The recordings show the officers were on the hunt for two virtual characters, a Snorlax and a rare Togetic, and drove to various locations.

“Got him,” Mitchell is recorded saying after catching the latter.

“The guys are going to be so jealous.”

They were fired after a police board of rights unanimously ruled that the two officers committed misconduct that was “unprofessional and embarrassing” and violated the public’s trust.

The former officers argued that the recordings of their private conversations were improperly used as evidence, but the Superior Court judge denied their petition.

– With NBC

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