Demanding Change: Activists join family of teen killed by Overland Park police officer to protest department

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Clergy who are part of the Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equality gathered outside city hall Monday demanding the removal of police Chief Frank Donchez.

The group supports the family of John Albers, a teenager shot and killed by Overland Park police in 2018.

Albers’ family wants Donchez removed for lying about a number of facts in John Albers’ death. The group also wants the city manager held accountable for approving a severance agreement with Clayton Jenison, the officer who shot and killed Albers.

“The true test of leadership is how leaders handle tragedy,” said Sheila Albers, the teen’s mother. “Tragedy will happen, but we need to expect city leadership to be honest, accurate and transparent so that we may move forward as a community. Overland Park must do better.”

The Johnson County District Attorney cleared Jenison of any wrongdoing and ruled the shooting was justified, and the Kansas law enforcement regulatory commission, known as CPOST, closed its investigation with no findings.

However, in November 2020, the FBI subpoenaed the city of Overland Park to testify before a grand jury and present all records concerning the shooting.

Since the shooting, Jenison received a $70,000 severance package to resign from the department, and the Albers family settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Many of the records, like all dash camera footage and Jenison’s audio, from that night are still being withheld from the public. 

The Overland Park city council meets tonight to consider a performance review for city manager Bill Ebel.

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