A white police officer is currently contesting his firing after he was terminated for detaining his daughter’s black boyfriend without cause.
John Kovach Jr., a police officer who served in Lorain, Ohio, pulled over 18-year-old Makai Coleman on April 16 and told him he was “going to jail,” according to the Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle-Telegram.
In the dashcam footage, Coleman can be heard asking why he is being detained. Kovach replies, “You’re going to jail. Have a seat in my car. We’ll make s*** up as we go.”
Kovach was looking for his daughter, Katlyn, whom the officer did not know was in the back seat of Coleman’s car. Also in the vehicle were Gloria Morales’s two children. Coleman had been pulled over in front of Morales’s home, where Kovach had tracked his daughter’s laptop location.
Katlyn had been caught engaging in a sexual act with Coleman by her mother, Kovach’s ex-wife, a week prior to the incident. When Coleman was asked to leave, Katlyn said, “If I can’t be with him, I don’t want to be here anymore,” which Kovach took to be a suicide threat. Kovach later said that he was looking for Katlyn so he could take her to the hospital.
In the video, Kovach confronts Morales and informs her that he wants to search her home for his daughter and her laptop, to which she says he will have to return with a warrant.
Kovach threatens to write Morales’s daughter a $300 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. When Morales says she is going to call 911, he threatens to take her to jail as well.
It is then that Kovach sees his daughter in the backseat of the car. Eventually, he releases Coleman and gets his daughter into his cruiser.
During the incident, dispatch can be heard calling Kovach to a road rage incident, which he ignores.
Kovach, who served on the force since 1992, was fired on May 11. Safety-Service Director Dan Given said, “These actions are not acceptable for members of our Police Department, and we felt it warranted immediate dismissal.”