Gotta Fire ‘Em All

Last Updated on: 1st September 2022, 09:45 am

Sometimes I watch the news and I ask myself damn, what does it take for a cop to get fired? Christ, I’ve seen them straight up murder people who couldn’t have possibly posed a threat to them and get little if anything in the way of professional repercussions in return.

But today, while going through some stories I’ve had lying around for a while, I have seen not one, but two Los Angeles police officers lose their jobs. Not because they murdered anyone ( I believe that’s still ok most of the time), but because they chose to ignore a robbery in progress so that they could catch some Pokémon.

The incident happened in April, 2017, at a Macy’s at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw Mall. According to court records, a patrol supervisor called Mitchell and Lozano to respond to an apparent robbery in progress at the Macy’s; several police officers left the scene of a homicide to respond to the call. Mitchell and Lozano, meanwhile, were in the area but didn’t respond to the call and instead backed down an alley and drove away.

A later investigation of video and audio evidence showed that Mitchell and Lozano discussed responding to the robbery but decided not to. Moments later, Mitchell and Lozano were recorded saying that a “Snorlax … just popped up .. at 46th and Leimert,” and the two strategized how to best catch the rare, gigantic Pokémon.
“For approximately the next 20 minutes, [the in-car monitoring system] captured [Mitchell and Lozano] discussing Pokémon as they drove to different locations where  the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones,” the court documents say. “On their way to the Snorlax location, Officer Mitchell alerted Officer Lozano that ‘a Togetic just popped up,’” referring to another Pokémon.

“After Mitchell apparently caught the Snorlax—exclaiming, ‘Got ‘em’—petitioners agreed to ‘go get the Togetic’ and drove off.” Mitchell said that he “buried” the Togetic and used an Ultra Ball on it, and was “still trying to catch it” after quite some time.
“Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me,” Mitchell said, according to court records. “Holy crap. Finally …. the guys are going to be so jealous.” 
Though they were recorded explaining the entirety of this encounter, as is common with police, both Mitchell and Lozano lied about what happened, according to the court records. Both of them claimed they were merely catching “images” of Pokémon, not playing a “game.” They also claimed that Pokémon Go is not a “game” but was more of a “social media event” that was not “advertised as a game,” the court records say. Eventually, both admitted to going after the Snorlax because they wanted to “chase this mythical creature.”

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