The image of cops eating donuts, who sometimes take it easy in US films, is legendary. However, the fact that their real colleagues chase down rare Pokémon while on duty instead of picking up a shoplifter in the act is new. It happened in Los Angeles, as reported by the BBC, among others. Accordingly, two police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have been dismissed from the police force because they played Pokémon Go while on duty and failed to call for help over the radio in the bitter hunt for “Snorlax” (in Germany “Relaxo”) to be followed up by colleagues for reinforcement. The police denied the allegations and filed an appeal, which has now been rejected by a California State Court of Appeals.
The internet is full of hot IT news and stale pr0n. In between there are always pearls that are too good for / dev / null.
It all started on April 15, 2017, when the Macy’s department store in Los Angeles was robbed. An officer near the department store heard an incoming radio call about the robbery and saw that two police officers who had parked their police vehicle in a nearby alley did not respond, but drove away in the vehicle.
The two playful officers were discovered through the inside camera of the police vehicle. She recorded that both police officers first discussed the paging, but then decided not to answer in order to hunt down the comparatively rare Pokémon “Snorlax” that was virtually roaming the area. The two cops took up the scent. A chase ensued that ended in a successful catch. “The boys will be so jealous,” said one of the officers after “Snorlax” was arrested, according to court documents. Apparently, playing Pokémon Go was common among LAPD police officers at the time. The cops then talked about how difficult it was to fight another Pokémon named “Togetic” before they went back to work.
In court, the two police officers initially denied having played Pokémon Go. They stated that they had not heard the radio message. One of the two police officers only read from a chat in which other players bragged about their catch. Both cops later admitted to hunting “Snorlax” in light of the camera footage. However, this was part of an extra patrol, so the tour wasn’t just about hunting for the Pokémon.
The attempt not to admit the recorded conversations as evidence failed – also in the appeal proceedings. The appeals court dismissed the case. The police officers are being dismissed from the police force because they did not respond to the call, played Pokémon Go on duty and made misleading and false statements.
Criminals no longer hunt the two former officers. It is not known whether they continue to hunt Pokémon.