Police Officers Ignored Robbery to Play Pokemon Go

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There are plenty of reasons to play Pokemon Go. As two former police officers found out, however, they shouldn’t come at the cost of your professional duties.

In April 2017, officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were out on patrol. They then heard a radio call from a commanding officer, who asked for assistance in response to an in-progress robbery.

Instead, the two officers reportedly ignored the requests and looked for Pokemon in Pokemon Go.

A subsequent investigation found Lozano and Mitchell “turned away from the mall.” From there, they drove to different locations to find Snorlax and Togetic in Pokemon Go.

The two officers then returned to the 7-Eleven convenience store to end their watch.

In the aforementioned investigation, Lozano and Mitchell denied playing Pokemon Go. According to the two officers, they were “having a conversation about Pokemon Go.”

Unfortunately for the two officers, their car’s digital in-car video system (DICVS) exists. It recorded their conversation. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) hit Lozano and Mitchell with six counts of misconduct.

These counts of misconduct eventually led to their respective dismissals.

Appeal and Ruling

They filed appeals with the California Court of Appeal. The officers argued the DICVS recording could not be used against them, since it violated protections on private conversations between police officers.

Although that is technically true, there is a caveat. Guidelines state private conversations can be used against an employee if “there is evidence of criminal or egregious misconduct.”

As a result, the California Court of Appeal denied Lozano and Mitchell’s appeals.

It’s unsure what the two former officers will do from here. At least they have more time to play Pokemon Go.

Williams Pelegrin

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