Long-awaited report on Overland Park police shooting of John Albers released Thursday

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More than three years after 17-year-old John Albers was killed by an Overland Park police officer, the city has released a report on the shooting, which did not result in criminal charges.

The teen’s death was investigated by a team of Johnson County officers tasked with responding to police shootings. The team’s 498-page report was made public Thursday.

Albers was shot six times on Jan. 20, 2018, by former Overland Park Police Officer Clayton Jenison.

One month later and after receiving the investigatory team’s findings, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting justified.

The shooting became a source of contention as Albers’ family and other community members began advocating for transparency from the police department and the city.

The teen’s parents have long wanted to review the contents of the report. The report’s release was also the subject of a lawsuit filed in January by 41 Action News, or KSHB.

After the Albers family read the report Thursday, the city released the records publicly.

It contains several narratives from police who responded to the scene, a dispatch report, an autopsy report and other records. Eighty-six pages are redacted with other redactions scattered throughout the report. The city said those were made to protect the privacy of witnesses and “confidential investigative techniques.”

Sheila Albers, John’s mother, said the report was “lopsided.”

“OISIT (Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team) is not interested in an impartial investigation,” she said. “They are interested in clearing the officer.”

Jenison fired at John Albers as he backed the family’s minivan down the driveway. Police had been called for a welfare check on the teen, who was believed to be suicidal.

In an interview four days after the shooting, Jenison said he told Albers to stop the minivan as he was backing out of the garage, according to a video also released Thursday.

“He didn’t listen to my commands; I shot,” Jenison told two detectives with the county’s Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team.

The minivan, Jenison said, went past him “rapidly” before it did a U-turn. As the minivan came back toward Jenison, he fired again, he recalled.

“Where I was, I believed he was going to hit me,” Jenison said.

Jenison said he fired two rounds of gunshots at the minivan. In the first round, he believed he fired two to three shots; in the second, it was five to seven shots, he recalled.

According to the report, Jenison fired a total of 13 shots.

The minivan came to a stop in a neighbor’s yard. Jenison went to perform life saving measures on Albers, but another officer told him to “get back.” Jenison was then escorted to a police vehicle.

In the years since her son was killed, Sheila Albers has pushed for answers from the city.

In June 2019, she discovered Jenison had been paid $70,000 before resigning from the police department.

Last year, The Star filed a lawsuit to obtain the severance agreement. The agreement showed Overland Park police reported to the state agency on law enforcement certification that Jenison’s departure was a “voluntary resignation under ordinary circumstances.”

Sheila Albers filed a complaint with the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, alleging that Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez committed perjury on the form submitted to the commission.

On Monday, the Albers and community activists gathered in front of Overland Park City Hall to demand that Donchez be removed.

The teen’s shooting is also the subject of an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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