2 LAPD Officers have lost their court appeal after a supreme court denied their appeals against the charges of misconduct and violation of public trust.
The men- Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were caught searching for Pokémon characters through the Pokémon GO app, according to a ruling this month from a California appellate court.
At the time in question, a radio call for “a 211 (robbery) in progress” had been sent out and stated that The Macy’s at Crenshaw Plaza, located southwest of downtown Los Angeles, was being robbed by multiple suspects.
Capt. Darnell Davenport heard the call come in as he was heading to a homicide scene and from where he was located, he could see the Macy’s and another police car in a nearby alley. Inside this patrol car were Lozano and Mitchell.
Sgt, Jose Gomez, the patrol supervisor for that day, realised that Lozano and Mitchell were nearby and requested them as backup for the robbery but got no response.
Gomez later realised that the same vehicle had responded to another call at the same time Davenport responded to the robbery so out of curiosity he questioned the pair.
They initially claimed that they did not hear a request for backup due to a lot of noise in their surroundings. Officer Mitchell is quoted to have said there was “a lot of music” and that it was “really loud in the park,” while Lozano was quoted saying “We have no control over the system and all the loud noise, it was loud.”
The following day Gomez decided to review the vehicle’s digital video system recording, which much to his surprise revealed that instead of responding to the call, the two officers were playing Pokémon GO, for at least 20 minutes.
In the recording, the two could be heard calmly debating whether to respond to the call. Lozano was quoted saying, “Aw, screw it.” Shortly after the men could be heard discussing a Snorlax, one of the Pokémon characters, which was spotted nearby and so the men were focused on capturing it. Evidence in the ruling notes that Mitchell caught the creature and exclaimed “Got ‘em!”.
Soon, another character called a Togetic popped up, and the two took off to capture that one as well. “Don’t run away. Don’t run away.” Mitchell was quoted as saying.
Mitchell reportedly said, “Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me “and “the guys are going to be so jealous.”
When questioned, the officers claimed they were discussing Pokemon and not playing. They were fired in 2018 and denied their appeal in the supreme court at that time. On Friday, they were also denied in the appeals court.
Following the court’s decision, the men’s attorney, Greg G. Yacoubian stated that they were disappointed and were “evaluating how best to proceed.”