Former LAPD officers lose appeal after being fired for playing Pokémon Go, failing to respond to robbery

Oak's words echoed... "There's a time and place for everything"

Image via Niantic

Back in 2017, two Los Angeles police officers were fired after refusing to answer a commanding officer’s request for assistance in response to a robbery, instead choosing to play Pokémon Go.

The news that was first reported by Axios’ Stephen Totilo reveals that after their firing, the two former officers had submitted an appeal to fight the judgment last week, claiming that it wasn’t fair for the recording within the squad car to be used in the case against them. Ultimately, they lost the appeal.

From within the court documents of the appeal, their reasoning for ignoring the robbery call was to capture a Snorlax within Niantic’s AR-based Pokémon game.

According to the documents, the two individuals continued playing the game for 20 minutes after choosing to ignore the backup request and instead drove around capturing Pokémon around the area. Within the recorded audio from the vehicle, the pair could be heard catching the Snorlax and Togetic. Both of these Pokémon were rare in the game in April 2017 at the time of the incident.

When confronted about the incident, the officers claimed they weren’t playing Pokémon Go. They then went one step further and argued that Pokémon Go wasn’t a game. They claim that they were simply monitoring a “Pokémon Tracker” on their phones rather than playing the game itself.

Despite these claims, the pair were charged with on-duty misconduct and lost their positions at the LAPD.