Overland Park, KS – Federal authorities have launched an investigation into an officer-involved shooting of a 17 year old in 2018 after police responded to a mental health call from his friends (video below).
The incident occurred in January of 2018 after friends of 17-year-old John Albers called the police and said he had threatened to kill himself on social media, The Washington Post reported.
Dashcam video and footage from neighborhood security cameras showed what happened after police arrived at the South Overland Park home.
Video showed the officers in the front yard of Albers house as an officer attempted to get a phone number to contact the teen from a neighbor.
“We’re going to have you hang back here. Do you have a phone number for him?” an officer asked someone off camera in the video.
“For him?” the woman asked.
Then she told the officer she had a number for Albers’ mother, and he asked her to call and get the number for the 17 year old they were there to check on, the video showed.
Dashcam video showed one of the officers approaching the house when the garage door suddenly started to go up.
“Oh, wait,” the officer told the woman as the he noticed the door going up.
In the video, the officer in front of the garage positioned himself directly behind the minivan and yelled at the driver to stop.
The minivan driven by Albers continued backing up toward the officer, the video showed.
The officer backed up and when the minivan continued to reverse toward him, he opened fire, the video showed.
The video showed the teen backed out of the driveway and executed a 180-degree J-turn and then backed over the curb and back up into the driveway.
That’s when the officer opened fire again through the passenger side window, the video showed.
Then the van rolled forward, across the street, and came to rest in the neighbor’s front yard.
Throughout the entire incident, officers continued to order Albers to stop the vehicle, but the video showed the minivan’s windows were up.
The investigation showed that now-former Overland Park Police Officer Clayton Jenison had fired 13 rounds into the minivan driven by Albers, The Washington Post reported.
Albers died as a result of his gunshot wounds.
The Johnson County district attorney ruled on Feb. 20, 2018 that Officer Jenison was justified in shooting Albers and said no criminal charges would be filed against the officer, The Washington Post reported.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced at the same time that Officer Jenison had voluntarily submitted his resignation before any administrative action could be taken against him by the police department.
Overland Park officials paid Officer Jenison a severance package totaling more than $81,000 in March of 2018, even though his annual salary was roughly $46,000, The Washington Post reported.
Officer Jenison had been a member of the Overland Park Police Department for two years when he resigned, The Washington Post reported.
He is free to join another law enforcement agency because he was neither terminated nor disciplined by Overland Park PD.
Overland Park City Councilman Paul Lyons told the Kansas City Star that Officer Jenison couldn’t have been fired because the district attorney had ruled the shooting justified.
When Albers’ parents, Steve and Sheila Albers, found out about the payment that Officer Jenison had been given, they filed a wrongful-death suit against both Overland Park and now-former Officer Jenison in federal court, The Washington Post reported.
The city settled the suit with Albers’ family in January of 2019 for $2.3 million after a judge ruled “Officer Jenison was not standing in the path of the minivan” and that “a reasonable jury could conclude that deadly force was unreasonable because [Albers] only posed harm to himself.”
“I have always questioned the integrity of the investigation,” Sheila Albers told The Washington Post. “You can’t conduct an impartial, thorough investigation of police misconduct while simultaneously negotiating a financial buyout.”
“Chief Donchez and District Attorney Steve Howe deceived the public on Officer Jenison’s aggressive actions, obstructed justice, and failed to hold anyone accountable for the death of my son,” the angry mother said.
Sheila Albers said the payout that former Officer Jenison received “could have funded Crisis Intervention Team training to prevent unnecessary violence in the future. Overland Park is a microcosm of the wider problem we have across the country: lack of transparency, failed systems of accountability, and leadership that neglects its duty to protect and serve the public,” The Washington Post reported.
On Monday, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Spokeswoman Bridgett Patton said that an investigation into federal civil rights violations had been initiated, USA Today reported.
Patton said the FBI would “collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner.”
Watch video of the incident here below. WARNING – Graphic content and obscene language: