Two former Los Angeles Police Department officers had their appeal for reinstatement denied after they were fired for choosing to play Pokémon Go instead of responding to a request for backup while on duty, The Verge reports. The California Court of Appeal upheld the firings on Friday.
Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were radioed in April 2017 about assisting a captain with a reported robbery in a Macy’s at Crenshaw Mall. The two initially failed to respond, and when they finally did, all Sergeant Jose Gomez heard back was “No.” Gomez asked them about the miscommunication in 7-Eleven parking lot later that day, and they both denied hearing a request for backup, claiming there was loud noise and “a lot of music” in the area.
Gomez obtained in-car video footage the following day, and noticed that they were debating whether to respond. “I don’t want to be his help,” Lozano can be heard saying, per Daily Beast. When Mitchell left his partner with the decision to respond, Lozano responded, “Aw, screw it.”
Five minutes later, Mitchell informed Lozano of a Snorlax at a nearby intersection, so they drove away in pursuit of catching the Pokémon, and spent the next 20 minutes talking about their love for the game as they circled its location. They caught the Snorlax, and were onto their next adventure when Mitchell declared that “a Togetic just popped up.” While it took some hard work and determination, they also caught the Togetic.
When questioned about the footage of them trying to catch ‘em all, they said it was just them “having a conversation,” but the detective determined that they “were not being truthful.”
The two were charged with six counts of on-duty misconduct and terminated.