Two Los Angeles police officers have been fired for ignoring a request for reinforcements to attend a California mall robbery, preferring to go Pokemon hunting.
Officers Luis Lozano and Eric Mitchell rejected calls from patrols trying to control a store heist to go find two virtual Pokemon Go video game characters, according to court documents released last week.
The patrol communications system recorded both officers’ conversations and commented on the sudden appearance of “Snorlax” – a virtual character from the hard-to-capture Pokémon world.
“For approximately another 20 minutes, the recording system captured the plaintiffs discussing Pokémon as they headed to various places where virtual beings appeared to them on their mobile devices,” the document said.
He adds, “As they headed toward the Snorlax position, Officer Mitchell warned Officer Lozano that ‘Togetic had just appeared.'”
The cops captured Snorlax and followed the other hypothetical creature. “This thing hits me,” Mitchell said, referring to “your guidance.”
The incident occurred in April 2017. The officers were accused of misconduct, among other things, for failing to respond to a call for support, playing Pokémon Go on patrol, and making false statements about the case.
The cops admitted to ignoring the call for reinforcements but denied that they were playing Pokemon Go.
They argued, instead, that they were barely discussing the game and challenged Los Angeles to the shooting.
The Court of Appeal refuted his interpretations and upheld the decision.
Pokémon Go consists of locating and capturing objects in this universe that actually appear in real places, and can only be seen through mobile phones.
The video game created quite a stir in the mid-2010s, launching millions of people, phones in hand, to hunt down cool characters.
The popularity of the game was such that Pokemon hunters were blamed for traffic accidents, and even illegal border crossings.
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