Jade Kothe, 20, a beautiful ballerina who aspired to one day own a dance studio, died at her West Palm Beach, Florida residence, June 28, at approximately 1:30 am.
On March 17, Kothe was sent by her parents to Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach for treatment of anxiety and depression. After successful completion of their program, she voluntarily transferred to Recovery By The Sea in Stuart, Florida for drug addiction treatment. Upon discharge, Kothe remained in Florida, temporarily residing with her boyfriend, Chase Ahlborg, at 3000 Greenwood Avenue. On the evening of the incident in question, Ahlborg admitted to supplying Kothe with an opiate-based controlled dangerous substance and when she became lethargic, he contacted 9-1-1. The first responder was an unnamed female West Palm Beach (WPB) police officer who arrived within minutes of the call. The officer claimed that she was familiar with Jade’s challenges with chemical dependence based on a past encounter. When the unnamed officer observed Kothe, she had a pulse and was minimally responsive. She was shaking her head back and forth, and moaning, repeatedly, despite obviously experiencing difficulty breathing. Ahlborg and their eight (8) months pregnant landlord had placed Kothe into the landlord’s Chevy Tahoe SUV to transport her to St. Mary’s Medical Center. Their residence was less than a half mile away from the hospital.
The unnamed female WPB Officer clearly observed that Kothe was in distress and dire need of medical attention. The officer deliberately parked her patrol car directly behind the Chevy Tahoe to block it from exiting the driveway. When she got out, she pulled the back door open and aggressively snatched Kothe, 5’1”, 95 lbs, out by her ankles, and intentionally let her go causing her head to violently strike both the interior rear door and then the ground. The unnamed officer was approximately six feet tall and large in stature.
There were no means for Kothe to brace herself or break the 2 ft. dump from the SUV. Eyewitnesses recount that the back of her head made a “thud” sound upon impact with the ground, causing Kothe’s eyes to rapidly blink. Suddenly, her moans became louder as her physical condition was obviously exacerbated by the dual traumas (i.e., head violently striking the interior door and then the ground). Meanwhile, the unnamed officer berated the pregnant landlord who was attempting to transport Kothe to the hospital, stating “I can’t believe you let her live here.” The landlord was shocked and frightened by the officer’s reckless indifference and extreme inhumane treatment of Kothe who was clearly in critical condition.
According to our preliminary investigation, no one bothered to administer Naloxone, which is an FDA-approved medication commonly accessible to law enforcement and carried by EMT workers and paramedics to rapidly reverse the effects of opiate-induced illnesses. This common drug could have more likely than not likely saved Kothe’s life. As Kothe laid on the ground, the officers on the scene, including the unnamed female officer, became overly concerned about her race and began to question what it was out loud. Kothe was a fair-skinned African- American Latina with an exotic European appearance. Once the female officer learned from Kothe’s boyfriend, Ahlborg, the she was of mixed ancestry –part African-American –her attitude of indifference became alarmingly worse. Another officer on the scene who heard the response to the race-baited question replied “Oh well.”
Kothe ultimately died that morning in her front yard and was left outside under the cover of a white sheet for almost two hours. A White male officer present on the scene happened to raise the sheet to observe the decedent up close, and said out loud “nice rack” –a reference made about her breast. One of the landlords overheard this comment and then proceeded to tell the officers that his comment was “disgusting, unprofessional, and inappropriate.” In response, the officer turned to him and asked for the name of his wife and his kids in a very aggressive and intimidating manner.
In conclusion, the attorney for the family believes the officers on the scene failed to render aid to avoid Kothe’s untimely death. They responded within minutes to an address and were made aware through dispatch that Kothe was having a health crisis. The nearest hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, where Kothe was in the process of being transported by her landlord was less than a half-mile away (0.4 mi.). The officers never allowed any paramedics to render aid as Kothe lay on the ground fighting for her life –gasp of air until her final breath. Kothe never made it to the hospital, the first responding officer never removed her patrol car from blocking the driveway, and none of the officers present bothered to escort Kothe to the hospital or transport her themselves.
The WPBPD has yet to explain why Kothe was denied life-saving medical attention? Why she was violently snatched from her vehicle and dumped on the ground? Why no ambulance arrived to treat and transport Kothe to the nearest hospital? And why Naloxone was never administered at the scene to save her life?
Kothe’s family wants answers. Based upon what they know already, the family believes the female WPB officer’s conduct specifically, as well as the actions of other officers present, were egregious and involved an unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, suffering, and death. Moreover, Kothe’s parents are deeply concerned about, among other things, the suggestion that a bias or a discriminatory animus may have prevented Kothe from receiving the lifesaving medical treatment she desperately needed.
Kothe is from Maryland and the daughter of famed radio and media personality “Konan” of Urban One Radio, and Lana Rae, a respected creative director in the fashion industry and a clothing line owner. The family is represented by J. Wyndal Gordon, Esq., located in Baltimore, Maryland. Their attorney can be reached at 410-332-4121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.