Crime

Parents of OP teen killed by police decry 'shameful' treatment by police, prosecutors

Dashcam footage of the officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old John Albers

Overland Park Police Department dashcam footage of the fatal officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old John Albers. WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT.
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Overland Park Police Department dashcam footage of the fatal officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old John Albers. WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT.

The parents of Overland Park teenager John Albers went on Facebook Monday to decry the "shameful" treatment they say was dealt them by police and prosecutors after their son was shot and killed by an officer.

Steve and Sheila Albers wrote, "We are still shocked by the way we have been treated by our local government officials, and their casual dismissal of John's death."

John Albers was killed when an Overland Park police officer fired 13 shots into the family's minivan as the teenager backed the van out of their garage Jan. 20.

The officer was one of the first responders to a radio dispatch that said that Albers was threatening suicide. The officer stepped to the side of the van and fired the shots into the moving van.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced his finding Feb. 20 after a multi-jurisdictional investigation that the officer's shooting was justified because the officer reasonably believed his life was in danger.

John Albers
John Albers Legacy.com

The family has contested that finding, filing a civil lawsuit April 17 against Overland Park and the officer, Clayton Jenison, saying the officer was never in danger for his life and used excessive and unnecessary force.

In their Facebook post, the Albers not only restated many of the claims in the lawsuit, but aired their grievances about how Howe handled videos that showed the shooting.

Howe, through a spokesperson, said Tuesday he had no comment on the Albers' post.

The Albers said Howe did not give the family enough advance warning that the two police dashcam videos were going to be made public, and they say he withheld a third video that was taken from a neighbor's doorbell camera.

The doorbell camera, whose footage was described in the lawsuit, "recorded a series of events that are not complementary (sic) to the OPPD and contradicts their narrative," the Albers' Facebook post said.

Howe gathered the Alberses in a conference room at 9 a.m. on Feb. 20, the day he announced no charges would be filed against the officer, and told the family he was releasing the dashcam videos, the Albers said.

Meanwhile, they said, reporters were gathering at the courthouse for a 10:30 a.m. press conference where Howe's findings, and the videos, would be publicized.

"Mr. Howe released the video on live television before we were given the opportunity to warn family, friends or John's classmates of the graphic nature."

"The manner in which it was released was shameful," they said.

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