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These former LAPD officers decided to catch a Pokemon instead of stop a robbery

Police officers decided to ignore a robbery so they could catch Snorlax

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A Pokemon Go player in New Delhi, India.

A Pokemon Go player attempts to catch a Charmander character in New Delhi, India. Two Los Angeles Police Department officers who were fired in April 2017 after they decide to ignore a robbery in order to catch a Pokemon using the video game Pokemon Go lost their appeals this week.

Thomas Cytrynowicz, Associated Press

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers were fired in April 2017 after they decide to ignore a robbery in order to catch a Pokemon using the video game Pokemon Go.

What happened: In April 2017, a robbery was happening at a Macy’s at Crenshaw Mall in Los Angeles.

  • Several officers responded to the calls.
  • In fact, some officers who had been on the scene of a homicide left that scene to help with the robbery.
  • But officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell ignored the scene in progress to catch the Pokemon Snorlax, Vice reports.
  • The two were fired after digital in-car video footage spotted the situation.

Driving the news: Representatives for Lozano and Mitchell filed an appeal. The appeal was denied on Jan. 7, per Kotaku.

  • The California appellate court ruled that the LAPD was justified in its decision to fire the officers, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Why it matters: Officers are meant to help people stay safe in a community. But the craze of the video game Pokemon Go back in 2016 and 2017 led these LAPD officers to put the augmented reality game ahead of public safety.

The bottom line: If you’re a police officer, it’s probably best to respond to a robbery instead of catching the evasive Snorlax.