(KTLA) – The Los Angeles Police Department recently released a video that captured two on-duty officers talking about the mobile video game Pokémon Go while also ignoring a robbery call in 2017.
The video was released on Oct. 5, 2023, and sheds light on the incident, which was only described in department records and court records before, the L.A. Times reported.
The video captured former LAPD officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell discussing how to catch a Snorlax and trying to capture the rare Togetic in the game while ignoring a report of several people who were in the process of robbing a Macy’s in the Crenshaw Mall, the Associated Press reported.
A police captain who arrived at the scene saw their patrol car parked nearby and wondered why the officers didn’t respond and said he had to respond to the call.
The officers claimed that they hadn’t heard the radio request for backup, but video footage from inside the patrol car captures the moment when Lozano could be heard saying, “Ah, screw it,” in reference to the request, according to the court filings.
In 2018, LAPD fired the two veteran officers who were on the force for 17 and seven years, respectively, the Times reported. A police board of rights unanimously ruled that the two officers committed misconduct that was “unprofessional and embarrassing” and violated the public’s trust, the Associated Press reported.
The officers appealed their terminations, and the case eventually came before a California appellate court, which ultimately upheld a lower court decision that sided with the police department, saying it was justified in firing the officers.
However, Greg Yacoubian, the former officers’ attorney, said that his clients were “treated unfairly” and that LAPD broke its own rules by using the private dashcam recording to prove their misconduct. He also claimed that the officers were improperly interviewed without legal or labor representation present, according to the Times.
The video was released publicly on the LAPD’s online records portal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report