An Ohio police officer detained an African-American man for no reason and threatened to frame him with false charges for daring to date his daughter.
According to a dashcam video footage, a silver car occupied by four people passed Officer John Kovach Jr.’s car. Without alerting dispatch, Kovach stopped the car. Unbeknownst to him, his 18-year-old daughter, Katlyn, was also in the vehicle.
Kovach went to the front of the car and told a black man, Makai Coleman, who also happened to be dating Katlyn, to get out. Then he told him he was “going to jail.” When Coleman asked him the reason for this, the officer said he was going to frame him with a false charge.
“We’ll make up sh** as we go,” Kovach told him.
Without resisting, Coleman did as he was instructed and seated himself in the back of Kovach’s car. Meanwhile, the officer began speaking with neighbor Gloria Morales, who had come out of her house because her kids were also in the same car. Kovack first told her his daughter’s computer was in her home and he wanted to search it. Morales agreed at first but when he threatened to fine her daughter $300 for not wearing a seatbelt, she said he would have to get a warrant to check it.
Then he realized his daughter was also in the car. Releasing Coleman from the car, Kovach then grabbed his daughter and dragged her to the car. Along the way, Katlyn kept resisting and asking him “why are you pushing me.” But the officer, heedless of her pleas, dumped her into the squad car.
While this was going on, Kovach also choose to ignore an emergency call about a road rage incident.
As his daughter started crying from all the manhandling, Coleman came back to the police car and asked him “Why are you putting her in the car, she did nothing.”
Kovach then told him “She is going to the hospital, because she said she was going to kill herself Friday.”
Coleman asked him if had any proof like text messages while Katlyn cried and said she was not from the backseat.
According to an internal investigation by the police department, Kovach said he thought his daughter was suicidal because his ex-wife caught Coleman and Katlyn engaged in sexual contact in her home and alerted him and when he told Coleman to leave his daughter alone, she said “If I can't be with him, I don't want to be here anymore.”
The report also found Coleman and his mother told investigators Kovach had threatened to take out warrant against the black man and threatened to go to his Army recruiter to stop Coleman’s enlistment. He also said the young man wasn’t a “good person” because he was once arrested for marijuana possession and his daughter was staying with the man against her parents’ wishes.
The officer had also reportedly used police resources to track down his daughter’s computer through her IP address.
Kovach has now been kicked out from the police force.
“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 now appealing his termination and “is looking forward to presenting his side of the story to a neutral arbitrator” in September.
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