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Police officers choose Pokemon GO over a robbery call, get sacked

They travelled across that land, searching far and wide.

Ever read one of those headlines that make you perform the following sequence of actions? Step 1: Perform a Tex Avery-esque double take. Step 2: Clean your glasses, or if you don’t wear glasses, pretend to do so in the spirit of the thing. Step 3: Ensure that the domain name in your browser does not read ‘The Onion’. Step 4: Realise what you’re looking at is, in fact, real, and subsequently question your faith in humanity. What I’m getting at is that today’s story is a wee bit ludicrous; so much so that it’s a wonder the usually terminally-invasive internet has managed to ignore it entirely since it actually happened four-odd years ago.

This is the tale of two cops, from Los Angeles, who one fateful day in 2017 decided capturing a Snorlax was far more important than capturing a criminal. A criminal that was, at the time, committing a crime. You know, as they do. I don’t think I need to indulge the obvious ironic joke to be made about them going after the most stereotypically flabby, lazy Pokemon of the bunch.

Picture unrelated.

The Pokemon GO incident

Destructoid has the scoop on this one. The officers in question, Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, “were fired in 2017 for choosing to go on a Pokemon GO jaunt rather than respond to a robbery-in-progress callout,” which, the veterans among you will recall, was around the time the smartphone game was riding high in the public zeitgeist. It seemed you couldn’t chuck a stone without it hitting someone on the trail of a Trubbish, or avaricious for an Aipom.

“Asked by LAPD control to respond to a robbery-in-progress in the area, Lozano and Mitchell instead attended the more urgent call of capturing a nearby Snorlax in the augmented reality title.” I mean, come on, lads. Mewtwo, I could get. Pikachu, I could even understand. But… Snorlax? Worth chucking a lucrative career away for? I have my doubts.

And as for these guys, they’re as common as… well, you know.

The duo’s attempts to catch ’em all were cut short when their patrol car’s inbuilt recording system, DIVCS, picked up their conversation, transmitting their slacker chatter for all their seniors to hear. The ensuing court documents in the wake of their dismissal are just the stuff of legend. Take a look:

“Officer Mitchell alerted Lozano that ‘Snorlax’ ‘just popped up’ at ’46th and Leimert.’ After noting that ‘Leimert doesn’t go all the way to 46th,’ Lozano responded, ‘Oh, you [know] what I can do? I’ll [go] down 11th and swing up on Crenshaw. I know that way I can get to it.’ Mitchell suggested a different route, then told Lozano, ‘We got four minutes.'”

A response time matched only by the speed at which they hit up the local McDonalds’.

Final thoughts

That reads like something out of an Ace Attorney game… except a totally different IP. And there are no stepladder jokes. Or burger references. Actually, scratch that comparison.

We all knew Pokemon Go was addicting, but I never thought the hysteria would have caused something as job-trajectory-endingly idiotic as this to happen. To be honest, do we really need dunderheads like that protecting the streets? Ah well. At least they’ll have all the time in the world for Pokemon hunting now.

What’s your reaction to this bonkers story? Any Pokemon that you’d toss your career away for? Let us know!

Via, Destructoid.

Bobby Mills

Motor-mouthed Brit with a decades long - well, two decades, at least - passion for gaming. Writer, filmmaker, avid lover of birthdays. Still remembers the glory days of ONM. May it rest in peace.
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