Two Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers have been fired after the pair ignored a robbery in progress to catch Snorlax in Pokémon Go.
As spotted by Vice, court documents published last Friday (January 7) reveal that two officers were captured on their in-car recording system “wilfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer’s response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokémon mobile game while on duty”.
Around five minutes after one officer replied “screw it” in regards to checking in with a robbery in progress, one of the pair – Officer Mitchell – said that “Snorlax” “just popped up” at a street in LA.
“Oh, you [know] what I can do? I’ll [go] down 11th and swing up on Crenshaw. I know that way I can get to it,” said Officer Lozano.
The two officers then spent around 20 minutes discussing Pokémon and driving to different locations to catch them on Pokémon Go.
After a superior suspected the pair were “playing a video game while on duty”, the Officers originally denied the accusations however later admitted to a charge of failing to respond over radio.
In front of a board of rights, the pair were unanimously found guilty of several charges, including making misleading statements and failing to respond to a robbery-in-progress call. The board said the officers were “disingenuous and deceitful in their remarks throughout the [hearing],” and added that their actions “violated the trust of the public and represent[ed] unprofessional and embarrassing behaviour”.
Following penalty recommendations from the board of rights, Officers Mitchell and Lozano were fired from the LAPD. Both officers appealed their punishment for being “too harsh”, but it was swiftly denied.