LAPD Releases Video of Officers Ignoring Robbery Call to Play Pokémon Go

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has released a video capturing two on-duty officers, Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, discussing and playing the mobile video game Pokémon Go while ignoring a robbery call in 2017. The video, released on October 5, sheds light on the incident that was previously only described in department and court records, according to the L.A. Times.

The footage shows Lozano and Mitchell discussing how to catch Pokémon characters, including a Snorlax and a rare Togetic, while disregarding a report of several individuals involved in a robbery at a Macy’s store in the Crenshaw Mall. A police captain who arrived at the scene noticed their patrol car parked nearby and questioned why the officers did not respond. The officers claimed they had not heard the radio request for backup, but video footage from inside the patrol car captured Lozano saying, “Ah, screw it,” in reference to the request, as stated in court filings.

In 2018, the LAPD fired both officers, who had served on the force for 17 and seven years, respectively. The police board of rights unanimously ruled that their actions constituted misconduct that was “unprofessional and embarrassing” and violated the public’s trust. The officers appealed their terminations, but a California appellate court upheld the lower court’s decision, stating that the police department was justified in firing them.

Greg Yacoubian, the former officers’ attorney, argued that his clients were treated unfairly, alleging that the LAPD violated its own rules by using the private dashcam recording to prove their misconduct. Yacoubian also claimed that the officers were improperly interviewed without legal or labor representation present.

Author: CrimeDoor

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