Ex-NFL Player Facing Criminal Charges for Staging Hate Crime

Former NFL player Edawn Louis Coughman was arrested for staging a hate crime at his own business in Lawrenceville, Georgia
Photo: mstahlphoto (iStock)

We may have not known who Edawn Louis Coughman was when he was playing for the NFL, but we do now.

He played offense on teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins but he’s going to need a good defense in court.

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The cops arrested Coughman, 31, for destroying his business and writing racial slurs on the walls in an attempt to make it look like a burglary.

On Wednesday, officers were called to the Create and Bake Restaurant and Coughman’s Creamery in Lawrenceville, Georgia to a report of burglary in progress.

Officers later went into the business and found graffiti including “racially motivated” words, swastikas and Donald John’s polarizing “MAGA” motto spray-painted on the walls, among other damage.

Coughman, who owns the business, was in handcuffs on Thursday.

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Gwinnett County Police said in a statement: “It appears as though Edawn conjured a premeditated plan to damage his own property, attempt to make it appear as a hate crime, file a claim with his insurance company, and sell off the undamaged appliances and electronics.”

Cpl. Michele Pihera told WBS-TV that a shopping plaza maintenance worker saw someone burglarizing the restaurant and alerted the police. Officers were already in the area and spotted a black truck without a license plate on it. When they pulled the vehicle over Coughman was driving.

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Police searched the truck and discovered several flat-screen TVs that they said looked suspicious.

“We’re so fortunate that somebody saw something weird, saw something suspicious, and called us,” Pihera said.

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Officers went inside the restaurant and saw where TVs were probably ripped off and racial slurs like “monkey” and the N-word—as well as MAGA—spray-painted everywhere.

The paint was reportedly fresh and when they looked at Coughman’s hands, they saw black spray paint.

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“He had reported this incident to his insurance company prior to officers conducting that first pull-over,” Pihera said. “He was attempting to leave that shopping center when our officers conducted that felony stop. Everything lined up for this perfect arrest.”

The truck was impounded to Gwinnett County Police Headquarters for processing and by Thursday afternoon, the Burglary Unit and Crime Scene Unit located a yellow crow bar and cans of black spray paint.

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Coughman already had a rap sheet; he’s been arrested several times for different offenses including gun possession in Canada, where he also played for the Toronto Argonauts.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police arrested his business partner, another NFL player, for selling alcohol after hours in their business without a license in 2016.

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Bonded out of jail, Coughman is currently facing three charges including insurance fraud, making a false report and a tag violation for taking his plate off.

The 6’4”, 309lb Shaw University alumna played for several NFL teams from 2012 to 2016, including the Buffalo Bills, the Washington Redskins, the Dallas Cowboys , the Houston Texans, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals

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About the author

Karu F. Daniels

Hailing from "the thorough borough" of Brooklyn, Mr. Daniels has written for The New York Times, Associated Press, CNN, Essence, VIBE, NBC News, The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News and Word Up!