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Kenosha County Eye

No Criminal Charges For Prisoner’s Suicide In Pleasant Prairie Police Car: DA (Videos Released)

Jacob Albright Just After He Removed Gun From Pants In Police Car
(Still From Squad Footage)

On October 30, 2023, the Pleasant Prairie Police Department (PPPD) was notified that Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley returned a decision that no criminal charges would be issued against the police officers who were involved in the arrest of Jacob Albright on July 20, 2023. Mr. Albright died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while being transported to jail by Pleasant Prairie officers.

Following is the background on the incident as reflected in the findings of the District Attorney and Investigators:

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On July 20, 2023, members of the PPPD were involved in the arrest of Mr. Albright after an incident earlier in the day where he was observed in possession of a firearm. Mr. Albright was prohibited from possessing a firearm. During the arrest of Mr. Albright, police body cameras and in-squad video evidence shows PPPD officers conducting an in-custody search of Mr. Albright. The video shows that Mr. Albright was handcuffed behind his back and resisting officers who were attempting to search him.

During that search, PPPD officers did not detect a weapon or other contraband and Mr. Albright was placed into the rear passenger compartment of a police squad and secured with a seatbelt. Due to Mr. Albright’s resistive behaviors during arrest and the officers’ suspicions that Mr. Albright may have had hidden drugs on his person, a second officer was assigned to assist with the transport.

During the transport from the location of the arrest to the Kenosha County Jail Intake Facility, video evidence shows Mr. Albright maneuvering himself in the prisoner compartment of the squad. He made repeated comments about not feeling well and that his handcuffs were causing him pain. At one point, Mr. Albright can be observed in the video removing his seatbelt. Moments later, Mr. Albright can be seen retrieving a handgun from inside his shorts then positioning himself in the back seat and firing one shot from the handgun, striking himself in the head. Transporting officers immediately summoned emergency personnel to the scene just outside the prisoner entrance to the Kenosha County Jail. Mr. Albright was pronounced deceased at the scene by Kenosha Fire Department Rescue personnel.

As is mandated by State law, the investigation of this in-custody death was turned over to an outside agency, in this case the Racine County Sheriff’s Office. Two officers involved in the search and one additional officer involved in the transport of Mr. Albright were placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation and were eventually brought back to restricted duty, to do limited work within the Police Department. At this time the officers on leave, Officer Brandon Matz, Officer Allison Gorman and Officer Joshua Girdaukas have been restored to full duty.

An internal review has been ordered to be conducted to determine if PPPD policies and procedures were adhered to, and if any discipline, training, or equipment adjustments are needed.

Jacob “Jake” Albright (36)
(Kenosha Sheriff)

Jacob was a troubled man with a history of drug abuse and violence. His criminal record began in the early 2000’s continuing to the day of his death. He has an arrest and conviction record of:

Felony Burglary of Dwelling
Felony Bail Jumping
Criminal Damage to Property
Receiving Stolen Property
Felony Possession of Cocaine
Retail Theft
Domestic Abuse
Unlawful Use of Phone for Threats of Harm
Felon In Possession of a Firearm
Felony Aiding/Harboring a Felon

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Mr. Albright was out on bond for a Felony case of Physical Abuse of an elderly Person – Bodily Harm. He posted a $5,000 cash bond on June 28, 2023. He was facing more felony bail-jumping charges as well as weapons charges per Pleasant Prairie Police.

Below is DA Graveley’s letter exonerating the officers.

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  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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28 Responses

  1. Criminals are dumb enough to put a gun or drugs up their butt. And they make their own choices.

    1. What if this man was mentally ill and needed to be put into a mental facility? You are very quick to point out that they make they own decisions but sometimes Karen there is mental illness involved.

      1. Drugs and being a felon aren’t mental Illnesses. The family is very vocal on social media about his struggles. Anyone ask why they didn’t help him? Why they are so vocal now? He beat up his own dad, so quit with the mental illness card every time something happens

  2. Remember the crazies that went and started being idiots there? Mayoral candidate koerri was their recording, and stating it was a cover up? Everyone there saying the cops did it? Koerri yelling at cops telling them he wouldn’t allow cover ups? Well here’s proof you bunch of hypocrites! Will koerri apologize now? Or will he brush his comments under the rug

    1. I like it: #WillKoeriApologize. What about th other tools that were out there interfering with an open investigation? This was nothing but a stunt for publicity.

  3. Pleasant Prairie is an accredited department which means they use the best practices in law enforcement. I wonder how to make a decision not to do a thorough search at the time of arrest on a guy wearing shorts and wait till they get to the jail is the best practice. I also wonder how you miss a gun on a guy wearing shorts but then ask him if he has a gun in his butt checks is the best practice. Time for Smetana to retire.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by “accredited”, but did you watch the Apple Bees incident. Still waiting for the ” before” part of it posted, but pretty sure these particular PPP need some additional training!

      I’ve been told by someone who knows several of the police in PP and alot of the good officers have retired. Now you have these new police officers that all have a totally different kind of attitude. I know there are “some in every crowd” but from what he said, it’s a whole new kind of crew.

    2. Easy now…..we are all human. Aaron Rogers didn’t connect on every pass. Rod Carew was best hitter in MLB and was less than 1 for 3. Cement cracks.

  4. Skip the misdirected outrage at a cop who deserves to have his or her next promotion delayed by a few years, and look back to the big picture. One glance at this video shows the guy was pretty much approaching his freshness date and his expiration should not have been a surprise. I don’t celebrate his death, but there are no compelling reasons to call it a tragedy, either. The simple fact that he had a firearm and some obvious previous poor life choices shows that the community is safer after this event so let’s at least feel positive about that.

  5. Keep in mind you fuckin idiots that he should have been safe in police custody. He should have not been able to have his gun in his pants. This should have been found. Three officers could not find it in his shorts?? They should be fired. Smetana should go as well. This is on his watch and he is so old that he should be held accountable.

    1. We all are armchair quarterbacks. We all can ask “what if” or “why?” Unless you were there, were the cop on scene and had the training, experience and knowledge of the facts and procedures you should resign yourself to the arm chair status. Yes, the dude had the gun up his butt. I hope cops don’t go around doing cavity searches. Your remarks lead a reasonable person to believe we should fire those who are not perfect. Maybe Aaron Rogers should have been fired. Maybe Tony Gwinn. The list goes on.

    2. He shouldn’t have had a gun. This is the type of guy who ends up shooting up 20 people in a mass shooting. We lucked out that he offed himself.

    3. Y’know why the jail has a body scanner? Because too many of these idiots jab stuff in their butt/vagina to hide from the cops. Wisconsin law does not allow cavity searches by cops. This jackass had been arrested so many times that he knew where to hide the gun.

      He’s been a menace for a long time. It’s a shame he had to off himself in a squad car and involve other people.

    4. PPPD picks up a guy on a possible weapons charge and don’t locate the gun on a guy in a tank top and gym shorts. 🤦‍♂️ They are lucky he didn’t shoot the officer or any innocent people.

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