gotta catch em all

Police Officers Fired for Catching Pokémon Instead of Robbers

Does this mean Snorlax is pro-abolition? Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photo: Courtesy of Pokemon

Pokémon Go … to jail! Two former Los Angeles police officers were recently denied their appeal to be reinstated after they were fired for chasing Pokémon instead of responding to a reported-robbery call. If it makes any difference, they were apparently trying to catch a Snorlax.

The initial incident happened back in April 2017, if you were confused by the implication that people are still playing Pokémon Go. Per court documents, the officers were parked near a Macy’s when a call about an active robbery in the store came in. Another officer responded to the call, and when he arrived at the store, he noticed their police car idling nearby, but their vehicle then drove away. When the officer responding to the scene called for backup, he initially heard no answer from the two former officers. He radioed them again, and they replied, “‘No,’ and that was it.” Later the two officers claimed they were at a park when the call came in and weren’t able to hear the request for backup because it was “really loud in the park.”

However, video footage from inside the two officers’ car revealed that they had, in fact, heard the call and decided not to respond, with one officer saying to the other, “Aw, screw it.” Five minutes later, one officer was notified that a Snorlax “just popped up” about a mile from the Macy’s. “For approximately the next 20 minutes,” the court documents state, “the DICVS” — digital in-car video system — captured petitioners discussing Pokémon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones.”

They got their precious Snorlax, and then drove off to catch a Togetic. One officer said he “buried it and ultraballed” the Pokémon (i.e., he caught it) while the other said, “Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.” Fear not, both officers got their guy. (Togetic.) The officer then remarked that the “guys are going to be so jealous.” When confronted, the two officers said they weren’t actually playing Pokémon Go; they were merely reading aloud from a text thread in which friends were “bragging about their scores.” A bold lie, but a lie nonetheless!

The pair appealed to have their positions reinstated, arguing that the use of in-car recordings violated their rights as they were having a private conversation. However, at the beginning of this month, a judge denied their appeal.

The moral of the story is … defund the police.

Policemen Fired for Catching Pokémon Instead of Robbers