Police Officers Fired After Ignoring Robbery To Play Pokémon Go

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Police Officers Fired After Ignoring Robbery To Play Pokémon GoAlamy

Los Angeles police officers have been dismissed from their positions after they chose to play Pokémon Go rather than attend a robbery. 

Pokémon Go – the game that saw many of my mates flee from pre-drinks or even parties to go chasing eggs around the block to catch the rarest character – is apparently just as addictive for those in the US police force.


On Friday, January 7, the decision made by the Los Angeles Police Department to fire policemen Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell was upheld by the California Court of Appeal.

The two policemen admitted to ignoring a call of a robbery taking place, and were charged with multiple counts of misconduct. However, they continued to deny that they were playing the augmented reality smartphone game.

Police Officers Fired Ignoring Robbery For Pokemon Go - Alamy Alamy

On April 15, 2017, Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell may have bagged a Togetic and Snorlax, but they failed to apprehend suspects who were conducting a nearby robbery.


According to court documents, their patrol supervisor Sergeant Jose Gomez frequently attempted to get in touch with the pair with no avail, The Independent reports.

Once the duo finally responded, they reportedly claimed that had been unable to hear the radio because of being in a loud area.

However, a video from the patrol car revealed that the officers had actively decided to not pick up the call from Gomez.

Pokémon Go (CEN)CEN

Court records detailed:

For approximately the next 20 minutes, the DICVS (digital in-car video system) captured petitioners discussing Pokemon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones.

The document went on to state how ‘Officer Mitchell alerted Lozano that ‘Snorlax’ ‘just popped up”, as per The Daily Telegraph

At first, the pair claimed they had simply been discussing the game rather than actively playing it, however they later admitted to having left to find the ‘Snorlax’ but because of a ‘social media event’ rather than engaging with the game online.

Police Officers Ignore Robbery for Pokemon Go - Alamy Alamy

After 5 Years, Pokémon GO Is Still A Huge Success

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Lozano and Mitchell tried to throw out the recording from being used as evidence on the basis of the conversation having been private and ‘improperly’ acquired.

The court responded, ‘It would be preposterous to require the commanding officers and internal affairs investigators to ignore evidence of ‘criminal of egregious misconduct’ simply because it was unintentionally captured.’

Moreover, it was ruled that the pair had been questioned fairly despite not having a legal or labour representative present, because of it having been part of the normal line of work for supervisor Gomez.

Police Officers Ignore Robbery for Pokemon Go - Alamy Alamy

Pokémon Go, despite first launching five years ago in 2016, is reportedly still going strong.

From having prompted one player to lose 10 stone, to adapting the aim of the game to fit life amid a pandemic, Pokémon Go continued to make a sizeable sum in 2020.

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Topics: News, California, Los Angeles, Now, Pikachu, Pokémon Go, Police, robbery


Daily Telegraph and 2 others
  1. Daily Telegraph

    US cops ditched robbery call for Pokemon Go hunt

  2. News.com.au

    US cops ditched robbery call for Pokemon Go hunt

  3. The Independent

    US police officers fired for ignoring robbery call to chase Pokemon