OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Three years after her son was killed by police, Sheila Albers says she’s still fighting for full transparency from the city of Overland Park.
“What are you hiding? Why wouldn’t you just go ahead and disclose the incident report? Why wouldn’t you give the community the reconstruction diagrams? If in fact (Officer Clayton) Jenison made the right decision, then there should be nothing to hide,” said Sheila Albers, John Albers mother.
In January 2018, police were called to the Albers’ house after friends reported 17-year-old John had been threatening to hurt himself on social media.
According to Sheila, John was slowly backing out of the garage when Jenison fired at the minivan, striking John. Sheila said the shot caused John to lose control of the vehicle. As the car spun around in the driveway, Jenison fired 11 more shots. Six shots struck John, and he died.
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.
Many of the records, like all dash camera footage and Jenison’s audio, from that night are still being withheld from the public.
Sheila Albers said the information being withheld is vital to understanding why her son was killed.
Albers pointed to the recent deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota to illustrate the importance of evidence being released. The Brooklyn Center police officer could be heard through the audio yelling “Taser, Taser, Taser,” as she pulled her firearm and shot the 20-year-old father.
Albers said the refusal to release all video and audio from that night is infuriating.
“Infuriating! Infuriating because there are city leaders who have basically said, ‘No you cannot have that information,’” she said.
Brandon Johnson, the newly appointed chair of CPOST, said this case is extremely concerning.
“Yeah, you know, I always feel that transparency is the best way to go and open communication with the community that these departments and officers serve, what we have seen and heard in this case is extremely concerning at least to me,” Johnson said.