OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The City of Overland Park announced Monday night that it will be releasing the report in the investigation of John Albers, a teenager shot and killed by Overland Park police in 2018.
Albers was tragically shot and killed on January 20, 2018 in a shooting with an Overland Park Police officer.
The incident was investigated by the Johnson County Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team, consisting of law enforcement officers out of other jurisdictions in Johnson County, according to the city.
The purpose of the investigation was to help the Johnson County District Attorney in making a decision about whether the use of force was lawful and whether any crime was committed.
The police department receives a copy of the investigation report when it’s complete.
The city said over the last three years, the police department has received numerous requests for the report and consistently denied those requests.
For the three years since the incident, the Albers family and others have continuously called for transparency to include the release of the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team report.
The city is currently being sued for the release of the information.
“As a result of this ongoing discussion, misinformation has been circulated resulting in a serious erosion of public trust over this period of time,” the city said in a news release. “Due to the unique circumstances presented in this case to include the challenge of the public confidence in city officials and law enforcement related to this matter, and in light of the current litigation, thecCity has decided to release the report that is in our possession.”
The city said continuing to withhold the investigation report has become an obstacle to restoring the community’s trust and confidence in the City of Overland Park, its officials, and the Overland Park Police Department.
In accordance with Kansas statutes, the city said it has spent several weeks redacting certain information within the investigation report including the names of witnesses, juveniles, and victims of crimes; confidential investigative techniques; and personally identifiable information such as home addresses, social security numbers, cell phone numbers. In addition, the city has excluded autopsy and death scene photos, and John Albers’ subpoenaed medical records.
“Because the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team report is prepared for the district attorney, we have consulted with him to ensure that he does not oppose the release of this Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team report,” the city said. “Further, we contacted the FBI about releasing the report to assure it will not hinder or interfere with that agency’s current review of the incident.”
The city said the report will be released this week and out of respect for the family, Steve and Sheila Albers, John Albers’ parents, will view the report prior to public release.