Dash cam

Video of Overland Park officer excluded from Albers report

A video recording of an interview with a police officer is another piece of evidence missing from Overland Park’s release of the investigation file into the John Albers shooting.

Growing pressure led the city of Overland Park to release the Agent Shooting Investigation Teams (OISIT) report in late April. The city said the 498-page report “reflects a full and thorough investigation.”

But in the months that followed, more information was discovered. This includes a lab report with ballistic analysis and digital reconstruction of the shooting scene. It also includes hundreds of photos taken from police on-board cameras. The recordings had been published, but not the still images. They were located by Overland Park in response to a request for open files in “a compressed, unlabeled folder,” the city said in June.

In July, an additional 2,000 still images from previously released dash camera recordings were obtained and a sealed envelope that could contain media files was discovered in the police department’s property room.

Officials last week acknowledged the existence of a videotaped interview with Overland Park Police Officer William Robbins. The interview was mentioned on page 389 of the OISIT report, but the video was not shown. Interviews with four other Overland Park agents were published alongside the report in April. It’s unclear why Robbins’ video was not included.

The OISIT report says Robbins responded to the January 20, 2018 shooting, which killed 17-year-old John Albers. Police had been called for a welfare check on the teenager, who was suspected of being suicidal. Former Overland Park Police Officer Clayton Jenison fired 13 shots, hitting Albers six times as the teenager exited the driveway in a van.

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office did not press charges against Jenison, and the agent was awarded $ 70,000 in compensation for leaving the department.

According to the report, Robbins was questioned the next day by a detective from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at the Olathe Police Department. The OISIT is a multi-jurisdictional team made up of various law enforcement agencies in Johnson County.

Robbins said he observed Jenison after the shooting, sitting in a patrol car with a “blank stare,” according to the report. He told Jenison to relax and that he didn’t have to talk about the incident. Robbins said that he and Jenison were both military veterans and that he had took Jenison aside and told her if he needed anything, to call him.

Sgt. Johnson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jesse Valdez said last week that the interview should have been uploaded by someone from the Olathe Police Department since the interview took place at their station.

Police Sergeant Olathe. Joel Yeldell said information and evidence had been submitted to the Overland Park Police Department and referred any questions about Albers’ investigation to Overland Park.

City of Overland Park spokesperson Sean Reilly said Robbins’ video was not included in the OISIT report provided to the city by the OISIT team. Officials believe the video was transferred from the Olathe Police Department to the Overland Park Police Department in March 2018, when evidence was turned over after the investigation was completed.

“If so, that original copy remains as sealed evidence in our property room,” Reilly said in a statement to The Star. “However, because it is sealed, this cannot be confirmed without unsealing the evidence and inspecting it, which may interfere with the ongoing FBI investigation.”

Last year, federal authorities confirmed that a civil rights investigation had been opened into Albers’ death.

Reilly said Overland Park staff did not participate in the OISIT investigation except as witnesses.

“Therefore, we cannot comment on any decision regarding what was or was not included in the OISIT report,” he said. “Any questions about the importance of the video in relation to a charging decision should be directed to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.”

The district attorney’s office said it was not involved in the release of the files by Overland Park and redirected questions to Overland Park.

Sheila Albers, John’s mother, took issue with Overland Park’s comment that the report was complete and called on the city to withdraw from OISIT until there are checks on the process. ‘team.

“The OISIT team did not manage in an organized manner the evidence and information it obtained during its investigation,” she said.

“The OISIT process is not impartial, it is not precise and it is not comprehensive.”

Experts who reviewed the OISIT report at the Star’s request in June said it seemed detectives never considered the shooting might not be justified and focused on Albers rather than Jenison .

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Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She graduated from the University of Kansas and was previously a journalist in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.

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Mildred Lasky

The author Mildred Lasky