A California appellate court has upheld the firing of two Los Angeles police officers who ignored an active robbery to play Pokémon Go.
The officers, Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, were fired in 2017. Court documents reveal they were caught on video discussing their hunt for a Snorlax instead of responding to a robbery in progress. One of the officers can be heard saying “screw it” after receiving the call. They then chose to ignore the robbery.
“For the next 20 minutes, the in-car system recorded the officers discussing different Pokemon and driving to various locations to capture them,” according to the Sacramento Bee. “On the way to the Snorlax, Mitchell told Lozano that a Togetic popped up, and the two made plans to go catch it after the Snorlax. They can then be heard struggling to catch the Togetic before eventually capturing it, with Mitchell saying that ‘the guys are going to be so jealous…”
The two were charged with six counts of on-duty misconduct and were found guilty by the board of rights on all but one charge. They attempted to appeal the ruling, but were rebuffed by a trial court. That decision was affirmed on Jan. 7.
In 2018, the World Health Organization formally designated "gaming disorder," or gaming addiction, as a health condition. Clearly, these two are the poster boys.