PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. – Officers with the Pleasant Prairie Police Department arrested a man in July for a weapons violation. While transporting the prisoner in the back of a patrol unit, he contorted his body and managed to retrieve a hidden weapon. Once he was able to manipulate the trigger, he shot and killed himself. The investigation into the custodial death is finished and authorities released a video recording of the incident.
Pleasant Prairie Police said Jacob Albright, 36, was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Officers arrested him at a Super 8 motel on July 20, following an incident earlier in the day when Albright was seen with a firearm, CBS 58 reported.
Officer bodycam video and squad video confirmed that officers conducted a custodial search of Albright, who resisting officers efforts during the frisk.
Officers did not locate a weapon and unknowingly placed Albright in the back of the police SUV while he was armed.
During transport, videos shows Albright contorted his body to get to the hidden weapon, which he pulls out and uses to shoot himself in the head.
Transporting officers “immediately summoned emergency personnel” after Albright fired his weapon, however he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following the custodial death, two officers involved in the search, and on additional officer involved in Albright’s transport, were placed on paid administrative leave and eventually returned to restricted duty while the investigation was ongoing.
The Racine County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation and the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office provided a review of their findings. As a result, both agencies determined that no charges should be filed against the officers, CBS 58 reported.
According to the DA’s office, the involved officers “secured Albright against the outside of the squad and searched him,” however both personnel determined a more thorough search should occur in a more secure location at the jail.
The patrol unit video shows Albright handcuffed in the back of the unit, moving around “almost continually” and reaching into his rear waistband area while complaining about the tightness of the handcuffs, being uncomfortable and feeling ill, according to the DA’s office.
Eventually, the video shows Albright unfasten his own seatbelt, lay across the backseat, and eventually roll onto his side, moving his hands behind his back. He is finally able reach the weapon with his right hand as the police SUV is approaching the entrance to the jail.
At that time a loud pop is heard, and “it is clear that Albright has shot himself.”
The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office released the following statement:
“We concur with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office who, having pursued an investigation which included obtaining statements from all involved parties as well as a review of the video and physical evidence, have specifically concluded that no criminal charges are appropriate and thus no charges have been referred regarding the involved officers.”
Now that the investigation is complete and the officers have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they have been restored to full duty.