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Key diagram never requested in Albers fatal shooting

Investigators didn't follow own policy
John Albers
Posted at 4:30 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 18:13:18-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Newly obtained information raises new questions about the credibility of a key investigative report in the deadly shooting of a teen by an Overland Park police officer in 2018.

Former Overland Park Police Officer Clayton Jenison shot and killed 17-year-old John Albers as the boy was backing the family minivan out the garage.

The incident took place after police were called to the Albers’ home for a welfare check on the teen.

After the Johnson County Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team or OISIT investigated the case, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe determined because Jenison feared he might get run over, he wouldn’t be charged with a crime.

Following a 41 Action News lawsuit, the city of Overland Park released the OISIT Report April 29.

John’s mom Sheila Albers questioned why there was no trajectory report of the 13 bullets Jenison shot or a scene diagram in the OISIT Report.

She described the report to the I-Team in a May 3 interview as “a sham.”

"We expect law enforcement to investigate any loss of life with integrity," Albers said. "The District Attorney and the OISIT failed miserably at doing that because a police officer was involved."

Now, after an open records request, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office on Friday released raw data from the shooting to Sheila Albers.

In a letter from Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Records Division Supervisor Sheila Clemens to Albers explaining the release of information, she writes “Please note that no scene diagram was requested by OISIT personnel, so no diagram was created from that data."

That lack of a request from OISIT for a scene diagram violates its own protocol and procedures manual.

In that manual last revised this past November it states, “Examine and photograph every aspect of the scene; take measurements for use in preparing scene and trajectory diagrams.”

Additionally, that manual states, “Measure for and prepare a scene diagram.”

After reviewing the OISIT report, former Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison told the I-Team he would’ve sent it back for more work because there was no bullet trajectory report or scene diagram.

Morrison called it “a bad shoot."

"I don't think it was a justifiable use of lethal force," Morrison said. "Does that rise of him being charged with voluntary manslaughter or something of that nature? It's a little too early to say."

Reached by phone, current Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said there was a three-dimensional electronic scan of the Albers shooting scene in the raw data the Johnson County Sheriff's Office released today.

However, Sheila Albers said that raw data from the electronic scan is supposed to be used to create a scene diagram, which was not done.

“The crime lab did it’s job, but the city of Overland Park, the Johnson County District Attorney and the OISIT team didn’t do their job by following through and asking for the scene diagram and bullet trajectory report from that raw data," she said. "This information has been sitting in the crime lab for more than three years and nobody has done anything with it.”

Howe said he made his decision not to charge Jenison based on the evidence and the law and he stands by it.

As for Morrison’s comments about the case, Howe called it “one person’s opinion”.

As the I-Team first reported last June, the city of Overland Park paid Jenison $70,000 to resign.

There’s also an ongoing federal civil rights investigation into the Albers shooting.

A grand jury demanded all documents and information related to the case from the city of Overland Park last fall.

That demand included the Internal Affairs Investigation in the case.

According to Overland Park Police Department policy, all intentional discharges of a service weapon by an officer will result in an Internal Affairs or IA Investigation.

In a timeline of the case city leaders released publicly last August, it states Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez was provided a summary of the IA report on Feb. 2, 2018, less than two weeks after the fatal shooting.

That IA summary found "no violation of law or policy" by Jenison.

The Overland Park Police Department Policy at the time stated "Officers will not discharge a firearm at or from a moving vehicle except in self-defense."

Jenison claimed self-defense in the case.