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LAPD Officers Fired For Playing Pokemon Go On Duty Lose Appeal

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers who were fired for playing Pokémon Go and ignoring a robbery call in 2017 have failed to regain their jobs, USA Today reports. Court documents reveal what led to the firing of former officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell in 2017 and their unsuccessful appeal challenging their firing. Lozano and Mitchell purposefully ignored a commanding officer’s request for backup during a robbery and played Pokémon Go, a mobile game involving moving to different areas to “catch” Pokémon. The division’s patrol commanding officer heard a radio call for a robbery in progress with multiple suspects at a mall. Patrol supervisor Jose Gomez tried to radio their unit to ask for backup at the mall but received no response.

Gomez later met with the officers, who said they did not hear the radio call and were at a park with loud music. Recordings from the officers’ digital in-car video system later revealed that the officers had been close to the mall during the robbery and purposefully ignored the radio call about the crime and request for backup. Both officers were terminated. They appealed, arguing the digital in-car video system recording should not have been used as evidence, and that their procedural rights were violated when their patrol supervisor questioned them without an opportunity to have a legal representative.


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