A white police officer in Lorain, Ohio, was fired after an investigation revealed he abused his authority by stopping his daughter’s boyfriend, who is Black, and detaining the couple in the back of his squad car for no reason.
John Kovach Jr., a patrolman who joined the force in 1992, was fired on May 11 following the April 16 incident, which was caught on camera, reported The Chronicle Telegram.
According to an internal investigation completed by Lt. Ed Super, Kovach stopped his daughter’s boyfriend, Makai Coleman, 18, while he was driving with three passengers. Kovach told Coleman to get out of the car because he’s “going to jail.”
When Coleman asked Kovach why, Kovach responded: “Have a seat in my car. We’ll make s*** up as we go.”
As Coleman sat in Kovach’s cruiser, the officer is approached by Gloria Morales, a nearby homeowner who said two of her children were also in the car. Kovach said his daughter’s laptop was in her home. When Morales denied Kovach access to her home, he threatened to arrest her. The investigation later revealed Kovach used the laptop to track his daughter’s location.
Eventually, Kovach noticed his own daughter, Katlyn Kovach, 18, in the backseat of the car.
Kovach then made Coleman exit the squad car so he could put his daughter in the backseat. Although she protested, he pushed her into the car and drove away.
Before he could leave, Kovach had been called by dispatch to investigate a road rage incident, to which Kovach did not respond.
Afterward his release, Coleman told Lt. Dan Smith that Kovach called him a week before and threatened to not only take out warrants against him, but also threatened to go to his Army recruiter to stop his enlistment.
Kovach admitted to Smith he was worried for his daughter because he didn’t believe Coleman to be a good person due to his arrest for marijuana.
Smith and Sgt. Timothy Thompson went to Kovach’s home around 9:30 p.m. April 16 to place Kovach on administrative leave while the investigation was pending.
The investigation determined Kovach had violated the department’s standards of conduct by initiating the traffic stop on Coleman without cause, by threatening to arrest Morales, for taking Coleman into custody while saying he would make up the charges against him and for failing to respond to a traffic stop.
You can see video of the traffic stop below.
(Warning: the video contains explicit language)
(Photo: Lorain Police Department)