FBI opens civil rights investigation into fatal 2018 police shooting of Kansas teenager

N'dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY

Federal authorities have opened a civil rights investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Kansas teenager during a wellness check in 2018.

The FBI will "collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner," spokeswoman Bridget Patton told USA TODAY in a statement Monday. The bureau's Kansas City, Missouri, field office is working with the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas on the investigation.

Former Overland Park officer Clayton Jenison shot and killed John Albers, 17, in January 2018 after the teen's friends called police to report he was making suicidal comments. As Albers backed out of his family's garage in a minivan toward Jenison, the officer yelled at him to stop and then fired 13 times.

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The Johnson County District Attorney later ruled the shooting was justified because Jenison feared for his life.

Albers' family settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the city for $2.3 million after the shooting. Jenison received $70,000 as part of a severance package when he agreed to resign, according to city officials.

Sheila Albers told the Kansas City Star she is thankful the FBI has reopened the case and accused local officials of presenting a false narrative about her son's death.

“The FBI investigation highlights the failure of Overland Park and District Attorney Steve Howe to be transparent in their investigations and be accountable to their constituents,” Sheila Albers said.

Overland Park spokesman Sean Reilly told USA TODAY the city will "fully cooperate with all investigations into the 2018 shooting of John Albers, just as we cooperated with the investigations conducted by the Johnson County District Attorney’s office and the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards.”

The investigation comes amid a national conversation about how police officers respond to calls regarding individuals having a mental health crisis. Nationwide, advocates are calling for change following the police shooting of a 13-year-old boy with autism in Utah and the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who was suffering from acute mental health problems when he died in police custody in New York.

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Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FBI opens civil rights investigation for police killing of Kansas teen