Donald Kopchak

From LEO Ratings

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Service Record

Agency Cleveland Ohio Police Department
Rank Officer, Detective
Badge Number 2139[1]
Salary $83,863[2]
Last Known Status Active

Commendations

2012 Distinguished Service Medal

On July 11, 2013, Kopchak received the Distinguished Service Medal, which is given to "officers who demonstrate a high degree of personal initiative, and perform substantially beyond normal requirements".[3]

2017 Distinguished Service Medal

On June 8, 2017 Kopchak and another officer received the Distinguished Service Medal for their May 23, 2016 arrest of a man wanted for a felonious assault shooting.[1]

2018 Distinguished Service Medal

On June 6, 2018, Kopchak and other officers received the Distinguished Service Medal for their June 6, 2017 arrests of drug offenders.[4]

Incident Reports

2010 Arrest of Jessie Wilson, Jr.

On August 1, 2010, Kopchak and Officer Raoul Antanacio stopped next to a parked vehicle. As they did so, Wilson fled on foot. Kopchak pursued, and claimed that Wilson fired at him at point blank range. Wilson was arrested a short time later by other officers, and did not have a weapon at that time. Both of Wilson's hands were tested for gun shot residue, and showed that Wilson had not recently fired a weapon. A search failed to reveal the weapon, nor any shells, bullets, or bullet holes.[5]

Wilson was charged with first degree felony attempted murder, two counts of felony assault, and other charges.[5]

On October 28, 2010, a jury convicted Wilson on attempted murder and one count of felony assault and he was sentenced to 10 years in jail.[5]

On December 1, 2010, Wilson appealed, claiming that there was insufficient evidence, that the convictions were against the weight of the evidence, and that he did not receive a fair trial.[6]

On November 3, 2011, the Appeals Court upheld the conviction on the basis of Kopchack's testimony that a shooting occurred, that Wilson is seen on dash-cam video holding his waistband as if he was carrying a weapon, and the video contained the sound of gunshots.[7][8][6][9]

On December 15, 2011, Wilson appealed to the state Supreme Court on the same grounds as his earlier appeal.[5]

On February 22, 2012, the appeal was dismissed as not involving any substantial constitutional questions.[6]

2010 Arrest of William Sanders

On October 21, 2010, officers Kopchak and Paul Benedictus stopped Sanders' vehicle for running a red light. An initial records check showed a possible warrant for Sanders, and the officers moved him to their patrol car. Kopchak looked through the windows of Sanders' car and saw marijuana.[10]

Sanders was arrested on drug charges.[10]

On March 8, 2011, the court ruled that the initial traffic stop was lawful, and the subsequent search and arrest were also permitted.[10]

2011 Arrest of Edward Henderson

On January 1, 2011, Kopchak and another officer were conducting a traffic stop when they felt that Henderson had passed too closely to the scene. Henderson drove away, and was chased by police before pulling over and surrendering. Henderson alleges that he was beaten by several officers.[11]

Video was recorded by a police helicopter.[12]

Legal Action

Henderson filed a lawsuit against several officers for use of excessive force. The lawsuit claims that Kopchak's report of the incident doesn't mention the assault, which had been documented by medical personnel.[11][13]

On July 10, 2013, the lawsuit was settled for $600,000.[14]

2011 Arrest of Clyde Woods Jr.

On October 31, 2011, officers Kopchak and Jeffrey Yasenchak stopped Woods, who they paced going 35 mph in a 25 mph zone for about two blocks. Yasenchak had Woods get out of the car and patted him down, which revealed a bag of marijuana in his pant leg. Woods was arrested, and a inventory of his car revealed more marijuana.[15]

On January 1, 2012, Woods filed a motion to suppress, claiming that the initial traffic stop was improper and therefore the search results were inadmissible.[15]

On March 1, 2012, the trial court granted the motion to suppress as the officers had no acceptable method to determine Woods' speed, nor any reason to search him after a traffic stop.[15]

The state appealed the ruling.[15]

On November 29, 2012, the Ohio Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision that the traffic stop and subsequent search were illegal.[15]

2016 Arrest of Valintin Foster

On January 22, 2016, Kopchak stopped Foster for traffic violations. As Foster was driving on a suspended license, the car was towed. During a search of the car, Kopchak opened a false-bottomed can that contained residue that tested positive for narcotics.[16]

On February 23, 2016, Foster was charged with possession of heroin and possession of criminal tools.[16]

On May 6, 2016, Foster moved to suppress the evidence against him, claiming that the search was performed as a separate investigation and not as a simple inventory of a seized vehicle.[16]

On August 3, 2016, the trial court granted Foster's motion, and the evidence from the search was suppressed, stating that opening the can was a separate investigation, which required a warrant.[16]

The state appealed, claiming that department policy required that officers open any closed and unlocked containers when towing a vehicle.[16]

On May 18, 2017, the Ohio Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision that Kopchak had performed a warrantless search.[16]

2020 Arrest of Treshone Lewis

Department Response

Kopchak was suspended for one day.[17]

Legal Action


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 2017 Awards Ceremony, City of Cleveland, 2017-06-08
  2. Donald Kopchak Patrol Officer City of Cleveland, govSalaries
  3. Peggy Gallek, Cleveland Officers Honored for Excellent Work, FOX8, 2013-07-11
  4. 2018 Awards Ceremony, Cleveland Division of Police, 2018-06-21
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 State v Wilson Memo, Ohio Supreme Court, 2011-12-15
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Wilson v Tibbals, U.S. District Court, 2015-04-30
  7. State v Wilson, Ohio Court of Appeals, 2011-11-03
  8. State v Wilson, Ohio Court of Appeals, 2011-11-03
  9. Cleveland Police: Kopchack Shooting, YouTube
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Ohio v Sanders, Court of Common Pleas, 2011-03-08
  11. 11.0 11.1 Henderson v Lentz et al, U.S. District Court, 2011-08-08
  12. Edward Henderson police video, cleveland.com YouTube channel
  13. Curtis Jackson, Edward Henderson, News 5 Cleveland
  14. Stan Donaldson, Cleveland Heights man who said he was beat by Cleveland cops awarded $600,000 in settlement, cleveland.com, 2013-07-11
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 State v Woods, Ohio Court of Appeals, 2012-11-29
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Ohio v Foster, Ohio Court of Appeals, 2017-05-18
  17. Rob Beschizza, Cop suspended for 1 day after assaulting suspect with warrant papers, bOINGbOING, 2021-12-08