The infamous court case of former police officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell losing their jobs after getting caught playing the popular AR mobile game Pokémon GO while on patrol has been brought back into the public sphere after the two officers recently got their appeal for reinstatement denied by a California judge. According to the court file, Lozano and Mitchell were fired after their police car’s digital in-car video system, referred to as DICVS in the court document, recorded their conversation the day they played Pokémon GO in April 2017. Initially, Lozano and Mitchell claimed that they could not hear the call for backup due to being in a noisy and loud area when their superior noticed their absent response. However, the car’s DICVS recording proved otherwise as the pairs’ statements turned out to be false.
The car’s recording showed that the two officers both heard and purposely ignored the radio call about the robbery, which contradicted their initial statement. It also showed that both officers arrived at the robbery location but left to look for more Pokémon GO locations after seeing that their captain had already responded to the robbery. The court file also noted that Lozano and Mitchell talked about Pokémon for about 20 minutes as they drove around trying to catch Pokémon, where they eventually caught the sleeping Pokémon Snorlax and the fairy/flying type Pokémon Togetic while on duty.
Despite the recorded evidence, Lozano and Mitchell challenged the decision for their discharge orders with an appeal. They claimed that the recording from their police car’s DICVS could not be used as evidence in court as the officers were having a private conversation. In addition, Lozano and Mitchell also claimed that their discharge from the squad was “too harsh” of a punishment, according to the court file. However, the LAPD Board of Rights argued against the two officers’ claims, stating that the DICVS recording caught them while engaged in police business since they were still on duty.
Ultimately, Lozano and Mitchell were charged and found guilty of multiple counts of misconduct by the LAPD Board of Rights as their objection towards using the DICVS recorded was overruled.