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Court upholds firing of LAPD officers who played ‘Pokemon Go’ instead of reacting to robbery

Officers are accused of skipping a robbery at nearby Macy’s to discuss and play video games. (Beautiful pictures)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (WTVO) – A California appeals court upheld the 2017 dismissal of two Los Angeles Police Department employees after they skipped a robbery to play “Pokemon Go.”

As first reported by Sacramento BeeLouis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were arrested on a car audio recording saying they didn’t want to react to a nearby robbery at Macy’s on April 15, 2017. Instead, they discussed how to capture Snorlax and other rare objects in the virtual game. , based on court documents.

Lozano and Mitchell say the recordings were unfairly used to fire them, but on January 7, a court ruled their dismissal was justifiable.

A California Superior Court filing from January 7 said another officer was responding to the robbery when he saw Lozano and Mitchell’s patrol car nearby. Their supervisor asked them to answer twice, but they only replied “no”.

The recordings reveal the officers discussed answering the call before Lozano was heard saying, “Ah, turn it on,” per court records. They continued to discuss the various “Pokémon Go” virtual creatures nearby.

Lozano and Mitchell argued that the conversations were private, but the LAPD said the recordings were valid, as both were “engaged in police work”.

Tracy McClanahan, a detective, later did interviews with Lozano and Mitchell, who said they were just discussing the game, not doing the work. McClanahan did not believe them, according to court documents, and felt they had purposely not responded.

The officers have been charged with six counts of misconduct in the performance of duty. They were also charged with lying to McClanahan during the misconduct investigation.

The Human Rights Council – a forum that adjudicates LAPD disciplinary cases – found Lozano and Mitchell guilty of all but one of the charges against them, saying “disrespectful and unprofessional conduct.” their breach of public trust.

Lozano and Mitchell tried to appeal their dismissal, but a trial court and appeals court upheld the decision.

https://kfor.com/news/court-upholds-firing-of-lapd-officers-who-played-pokemon-go-instead-of-responding-to-robbery/ Court upholds firing of LAPD officers who played ‘Pokemon Go’ instead of reacting to robbery

JACLYN DIAZ

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