The Lorain Police Department in Ohio fired one of their patrolmen after video showed him detaining and threatening to jail his daughter’s black boyfriend. An investigation showed that John Kovach Jr. violated the department’s standards of conduct when he pulled over his daughter’s boyfriend on April 16.
The investigation, and dashcam footage from that day, revealed that Kovach pulled over a car driven by Makai Coleman, who was dating his daughter, according to The Chronicle newspaper.
“You’re going to jail,” Kovach can be heard saying as he instructed Coleman to exit the vehicle. When asked why, he said, “We’ll make shit up as we go,” and told him to get into his police cruiser.
There were three other people in the car at the time, and the mother of two of them, Gloria Morales, came out of a nearby home to see what was going on. He said his daughter’s computer was in her home. At first, Morales said Kovach could search the house, but then told him to get a warrant first when he threatened to issue a $300 ticket to her daughter for not wearing a seatbelt.
Morales then threatened to call 911, and Kovach reportedly said he’d arrest her if she did, since there was no emergency. At that point, Kovach told Morales’ daughters they could exit the car, but then he realized who the third passenger was.
At this point, Kovach told Coleman he could leave the cruiser and told Katlyn, 18, to get in.
The story just gets more bizarre from there, when Kovach defended his actions to Lt. Dan Smith, who filed a complaint after Morales apparently did call 911 on Kovach.
According to court documents, Kovach said he didn’t like Coleman because he had a prior marijuana arrest and he didn’t want Katlyn with him. He claimed that at one point, his ex-wife called him to say that Coleman posted something on Facebook about wanting to use Katlyn as a prostitute so they could make money.
He also said that on the day of the incident, he was looking for Katlyn because he thought she was suicidal and needed help. He claimed he had tracked her computer to the Morales home, which is why he went there. He claimed he saw Coleman speeding in the neighborhood and nearly hit Kovach’s car.
Lt. Ed Super, who handled the investigation, got different information from Kovach’s ex. She reportedly didn’t know what Facebook post Kovach was referring to, but did agree that she and Kovach “have concerns about the relationship” between their daughter and Coleman. Kovach also said that his investigation didn’t support the allegation that Coleman was speeding.
Kovach had a hearing before the Employee Review Board on April 27, where a panel ruled against him, saying his actions “rise to the level of gross misconduct.”
Police Chief Cel Rivera agreed, and also found that Kovach had lied. After another hearing in May, Kovach was terminated.
“These actions are not acceptable for members of our Police Department and we felt it warranted immediate dismissal,” said Safety-Service Director Dan Given.
Kovach is scheduled to bring his case before an arbitrator in September. Local prosecutors also received the case for review.
[Image via screengrab]
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