Blue Valley Northwest students return to school after learning about classmate's death

John Albers

OVERLAND PARK, KS (AP) -- A group of Kansas residents is pushing for a Kansas City suburb to release records regarding how a 911 call to check on a teenager's welfare ended with an officer fatally shooting the teen.

The city of Overland Park has denied most of the records requests by Johnson County citizens group JOCO United over the January shooting of 17-year-old John Albers, the Kansas City Star reported.

The demand for records comes after authorities released dashcam video of the encounter in which an officer fired 13 times into a minivan that Albers was backing out of his family's garage. Officers were called to Albers' home after receiving a report that he appeared to be suicidal.

JOCO United argues that the video didn't answer questions about why the use of lethal force was needed.

The group said that the city has refused to release a report written by the officer who shot Albers, an investigative file compiled by a team that reviewed the officer's actions and the Overland Park Police Department's internal review of the shooting.

The Overland Park Police Department doesn't release the names of officers involved in shootings. But a federal lawsuit filed in April by Albers' mother, Sheila Albers, identified the officer as Clayton Jenison.

Mark Schmid, a JOCO United member, said the public is forced to rely on Johnson County district attorney Steve Howe's conclusion that the shooting was justified. Howe announced in February that the officer reasonably feared for his life.

"The investigative records should be produced to establish the truth of what Howe presented," Schmid said.

Overland Park's attorney, Mike Seck, declined to comment while litigation is pending.

Kansas' public records law allows officials to keep many types of law enforcement records confidential. Kansas law guards the privacy of officers involved in shootings and doesn't require the state to eventually name them as a matter of public record.

The Overland Park Police Department did announce that the officer who shot Albers resigned for personal reasons after the shooting.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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