Parents Post on Facebook Decrying Shameful Treatment After Cop Killed Teen Son
"We are still shocked by the way we have been treated by our local government officials, and their casual dismissal of John's death," Steve and Sheila Albers, the parents of John Albers, wrote on their Facebook pages on Monday.
John Albers was killed on January 20 when Overland Park cop Clayton Jenison fired 13 shots into the family's minivan as John Albers backed it out of their garage.
Albers was unarmed, and may not have even known police had arrived at his home.
Jenison was one of the first officers to respond to a radio dispatch that Albers was threatening suicide.
Dash cam footage taken as another officer arrives on scene, shows Jenison step to the side of the van backing out and unloading his weapon into the van, striking the teen several times.
Exactly one month after the shooting on February 20, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced his finding after a multi-jurisdictional investigation that Jenison's shooting was justified because he reasonably believed his life was in danger.
The Albers contest that finding and filed a civil lawsuit on April 17 against Overland Park and officer Jenison, claiming the officer never was in danger of his life and used excessive and unnecessary force.
In their Facebook post, the Albers restate many of their claims in the lawsuit.
We are still shocked by the way we have been treated by our local government officials, and their casual dismissal of John’s death.
Specific highlights of the filing:
• Clayton Jenison never made an attempt to directly talk to John. He did not park his patrol car in front of the house nor activate the lights or sirens. He hid behind a tree in our front yard in a defensive position until the garage door began to open
• John was not accused of a crime and had committed no crime
• John was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Clayton Jenison waited 9 seconds for a garage door to open. Reverse lights were clearly visible on the van as John slowly backed our minivan out of the garage
• Clayton Jenison was never directly behind the vehicle or in a confined area. In fact, he moved towards the minivan in violation of the OPPD policy.
• Clayton Jenison never identified himself as a police officer. After yelling “stop”, Jenison proceeded to fire the 1st of 13 hollow point bullets into a moving minivan killing our son in our driveway.
The initial call was for a WELFARE CHECK because John was threatening to harm himself. The OPPD sent Clayton Jenison, a former soldier that served in Iraq and Afghanistan, with NO CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING as a first responder. Clayton Jenison was the only officer to unholster and use a gun. John sustained fatal gunshots to the head, neck, face and upper torso.
The OPPD, and all departments across the country, need adequate training on how to respond to a crisis intervention call for service. The citizens of Overland Park deserve leaders who engage with our community honestly, transparently and are committed to the absolute best in policies and training.
The Albers also allege DA Howe didn't give the family enough advanced warning two police dash cam videos were going to be made public.
Howe rounded up the Alberses in a conference room on February 20 at 9 a.m., the day he announced no charges would be filed against Jenison, and told the family he was releasing the dash cam videos of their son's death.
Meanwhile, the Albers say, reporters were gathering around the courthouse for a press conference at 10 a.m. where Howe's findings, and the video, would be made public.
"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," the family says.
On January 21, fellow students and friends gathered on the playground at Sunset Ridge Elementary School for a vigil to pay respects and remember Albers after his death.