WTF ?! Many people take Pokémon Go very seriously, and in some cases, put catching creatures before their own work. It is never a good idea, especially if you are a police officer. Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell understood this well. The two former LA cops were fired in 2017 for playing Niantic’s mobile game while on duty and have just been denied a call to get their jobs back.
In 2017, when Pokémon Go was at its peak, Lozano and Mitchell were in their patrol car when they received a save request for an ongoing robbery at the nearby Crenshaw Mall. But officers ignored the call and proceeded to another location.
When asked to explain their actions, Lozano and Mitchell claimed they were in a noisy area and did not hear the radio. But their supervisor was suspicious and decided to check the vehicle’s Digital On-Board Video System (DICVS) dash camera. This showed that the officers had chosen to ignore the call and drive elsewhere. The reason? Officer Mitchell alerted Lozano that Snorlax “just appeared” in 46th place and Leimert, “court documents say. The pair then spent 20 minutes discussing the best route to reach the Pokémon while they were driving.
Mitchell also alerted Lozano that “a Togetic had just appeared” on the way to the Snorlax. Lozano said he had “buried and ultra-balled” the Togetic before announcing, “I got it.”
Faced with the evidence, officers denied playing Pokémon Go, saying they were only having a conversation. They were fired from the LAPD. The couple filed a petition arguing that the use of DICVS images in the investigation violated privacy during private conversations between two officers. The judge said the argument was “flawed” and dismissed the appeal on January 7.
There were a lot of unusual stories about the game during the days when Pokémon Go seemed to take over the world: criminals used it to lure victims to places before robbing them at gunpoint, police l ‘used to tempt fugitives out of hiding, people wandering the army bases and turning neighborhoods into nightmares, and a Russian blogger who was given a suspended prison sentence for playing in church.
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