Pleasant Prairie Police Officer Jaden Kleinke (34) of Kenosha was convicted last month of misdemeanor operating while impaired in Menominee, MI from an incident that occurred on December 26, 2020. Menominee Police listed the offense as “Super Drink Driving” as Kleinke blew a .17, more than twice the legal limit in both Michigan and Wisconsin. He was given warnings for reckless driving and open intoxicants by a driver in a vehicle.
Kleinke was spotted by Officer Mark Kropf driving recklessly as he was on a separate traffic stop (00:08). The officer left the stop he was on and drove very quickly to catch up to Kleinke. According to Kropf’s report, Kleinke was driving at a high rate of speed in a 25mph zone and he cut off another car, which had to slam on its brakes. He then turned at a red light.
Officer Kropf initiated a traffic stop on Kleinke (1:00). He asked him several questions. Kleinke denied having anything to drink – (2:10 LIE #1). Jaden didn’t make much sense while talking and slurred his words pretty severely. He gave the officer his Police ID (2:30). Kleinke said several times that the Menominee officer “scared” him (2:51 2:52, 2:53, and 3:18). The officer went back to his squad and returned to Kleinke again. He said he was willing to work with Kleinke but was looking “for a little honesty”, then Kleinke said yet again two more times that he hasn’t been drinking. (4:12 Lie #2 and Lie #3). He said he was “fine to drive” (Lie #4.) He returned to his police car and went back to Kleinke in his truck again, this time covering his body-cam (4:45). He asked Kleinke to step out of his truck and be straight with him. Kleinke then said again that he hadn’t had anything to drink. He asked Kleinke if he could him through “HGN”, a field sobriety rest. Kleinke then said, “you are putting me in a position”, to which the officer responded “no, you are putting ME in this position.” He asked Kleinke again if he was fine to drive and Kleinke said “I am” (6:10 Lie #5). He then went on to say “this is literally a wake-up call to the MAX” and “I deserve this.” (6:42) He then said “I don’t want to answer (questions).” Menominee Police Officer Mark Kropf then returned to his squad, took off his body camera and placed it on the dash board. (8:19) He pointed it towards the truck and did not deactivate it. He then approached the young Pleasant Prairie Police Officer for a third time. We don’t know what is said here. He then went back to his squad car and placed his body cam back on. Menominee Police Sergeant Andrew Bunch then arrived to the scene. (26:59) He told Kropf, “nothing special here”, in other words, he wanted Kleinke to be treated like anyone else. He told Kleinke that if he blew .1 or above, he was going to jail. (The limit is .08)
Officer Kropf then did Field Sobriety Tests on Kleinke. Kleinke seemed to do pretty well, even in Crocks. Where he had the toughest time, however, was with the alphabet. He spoke for a long while about how he knows the alphabet but might not be able to do this test. He failed it pretty badly. He then blew over the limit and was arrested. Officer Kropf told Kleinke that in MI, a DWI 1st is a misdemeanor crime, not a civil forfeiture like in WI. Kleinke then says “I really don’t even care. My life is pretty much fucked, so let’s go!” (22:18) He then talks about the imminent “release of the Kenosha shooting” referring DA Graveley’s decisions on charging Officer Sheskey. (22:43)
While being arrested, Sgt. Bunch asked Kleinke if he had any open alcohol in the truck to which Kleinke replied “no” – (21:02 LIE #6.) Sgt. Bunch then searched the truck and found and empty White Claw in the back pouch of the passenger’s seat.(25:49) It was within arms reached and the Sgt. said Kleinke must have poured it our during the traffic stop. The floor had a large pool of alcohol on it. (Deceit/Obstruction).
Chief Smetana initially spoke to us about the arrest and convictions saying that there would be an “internal investigation”. After we learned that Kleinke was put back on duty, he stopped responding to us. There are several very serious concerns with Kleinke being back on the job. The most serious concern is that he will likely be placed on the DA’s “Brady List”. This means he will be blacklisted among law enforcement. Any arrests he makes will be scrutinized and when he testifies in court, defense attorneys will question his integrity and honesty. Rightfully so. He broke the law. He put lives in danger. He lied to police officers at least 6 times. He hid evidence. How can he be trusted to tell the truth on the job or in court? Kenosha DA Mike Graveley is aware of this incident and said to a resident in an email that “we will look into the info.” Pleasant Prairie Chief Smetana’s Facebook page is littered with “the thin blue line” images. For some officers, its a sign of solidarity for an important and dangerous job. For Smetana, it means defending all officer’s actions. We hope Smetana will reconsider. Kleinke should not be banned from working, just not as a peace officer. Gaining the public’s trust is difficult to due when you lie repeatedly and commit a serious crime. See the body-cam video below. All the many hours of raw video are on our YouTube channel, but here is an edited video with only the important parts: