Maplewood officer fired for offering to buy alcohol, vibrator for 19-year-old he met on-duty

Categories: Police
Officer Kevin Coffey's union contested his firing, but his termination was recently upheld by an arbitrator.
An arbitrator has upheld the firing of Maplewood police officer Kevin Coffey, a 10-year veteran of the force who lost his job for creepily flirting with and harassing a 19-year-old he met on-duty last summer.

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According to public documents, Coffey met the woman last August 27, when he responded to a report that a man she knew had thrown a rock at her car. Officer Coffey admits that the initial conversation between the woman and himself became somewhat flirtatious, but, contra all the evidence, he denies the city's contention that things apparently spiraled in an outrageously inappropriate direction from there.

Here, from the arbitrator's ruling, is the city's version of events:
On August 27, 2012, a 19 year-old woman called the Maplewood Police Department because a man threw a rock at her car. At approximately 8 p.m. the Maplewood Police Department dispatched Officer Kevin Coffey to take her criminal damage to property report. The complainant had never met Officer Coffey. While Officer Coffey was taking the report, the complainant referred to the male who had thrown rock as "Pussy Boy". While Officer Coffey continued to take the complaint, Officer Coffey contends, the complainant told him that she thought he was good looking. By Officer Coffey's own testimony, "the conversation became flirtatious"... "The two discussed the possibility of going on a date to a casino, and [the complainant] volunteered that she could arrange to get a free hotel room at the Grand Casino in Hinckley."... "Mr. Coffey and [the complainant] also talked about [the] possibility [of] having sex."

"Mr. Coffey contends that [the complainant] was an active participant throughout this conversation--she never appeared uncomfortable or threatened, and she never gave Mr. Coffey any reason to think she did not like the attention he was giving her."... "[The complainant] expressed an interest in meeting with Mr. Coffey later that night."... "Mr. Coffey cleared the call at about 9:15 p.m."

The City of Maplewood and the complainant content that Mr. Coffey "began talking to complainant about matters of a personal sexual nature. [Mr. Coffey] told complainant that with her body and attitude she should be become a stripper and he would like the first dance. Complainant had no interest in [Mr. Coffey] and his advances had upset her and made her feel uncomfortable."

Later that same evening of August 27, 2012, Mr. Coffey began calling and texting complainant saying that she should meet him after he/she was done working. Mr. Coffey suggested that the complainant meet him behind Hill-Murray High School, which is a dark and secluded location.

The complainant testified that she thought that she and Mr. Coffey were going to talk about her case. However the complainant testified that Mr. Coffey starting talking about going to casinos and again asked pointed and sexually charged questions. The complainant testified at the arbitration hearing:
He started asking me questions that I didn't know--I didn't feel comfortable answering so I lied. He asked me what my favorite sexual position was. I said I didn't know. He asked me if there was anything sexually I wouldn't do or hadn't done. I said I didn't know. He asked me if I enjoyed giving or receiving oral sex. I said no. He asked me if I had ever had anal sex, and if I would be open to it, and I said no. He asked me if I came easily. I said I didn't know. He asked me if I had a vibrator. I said no. And he said that we would have to go shopping for that, but I would have to let him see me use it. He said - well, after that I started gearing towards trying to leave because it was awkward and uncomfortable and scary.
The complainant testified, "And I was in my car going to leave and he came up to my window and tickled my knee and told me that he was excited and intrigued. And then I went home that night."

The complainant testified at the arbitration hearing she felt "[s]urreal. It was just uncomfortable, and I didn't know--I didn't know how to feel. I didn't, you know, how to react."
The next day, the woman says she texted Coffey and told him she wanted nothing to do with him. He allegedly responded with a text saying, "U owe me now!"

Then, on September 3, Coffey pulled the 19-year-old woman over as she left her job in Maplewood. He said she didn't signal a left turn, but the city says video from his squad car clearly shows her signaling the turn. Coffey allegedly stopped his squad's audio and video recording equipment -- a violation of city policy -- and approached the woman's car. The arbitration document tells the story from there.

(Click to page two for more.)

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