Inside the investigation of an officer who killed a teen threatening suicide Experts say the probe missed key steps and favored the officer’s perception of events
By Tom Jackman, Sarah Cahlan, Joy Sharon Yi, Atthar Mirza and Brian Monroe August 23, 2022 at 11:47 a.m. EDT


The entire investigative file of an officer-involved shooting in Overland Park, Kan., was released, giving insight into how police investigated another officer. (Video: The Washington Post)


When 17-year-old John Albers posted threats of suicide on social media in January 2018, worried friends called 911 for help. The high school student was backing his family minivan out of the garage when he was shot 13 times by an Overland Park, Kan. police officer who responded to the call. Within a month, the prosecutor in Johnson County, Kan., Steve Howe, declared that the fatal shooting was justified and charges would not be filed.


Every year in America, police fatally shoot about 1,000 people. In each case, police — often from the same department — investigate the officer, and it’s rare that details of the investigation are made public. But in the case of the death of Albers, something extremely unusual happened: the city of Overland Park released the entire police investigative file, after being sued by KSHB-TV. In this case, the Overland Park police did not investigate their own officer. Instead, Johnson County launches an Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Team after each such incident, using officers from other departments in the county.


Written reports and photos from the investigation were made public, as well as videos, including dash-cam recordings that captured the shooting and the police interview with Clayton Jenison, the officer who shot Albers and said he feared he’d be struck by the van.


The nearly 500-page file revealed the investigation was concluded in six days. The Washington Post provided it to five law enforcement experts, veterans of policing, use-of-force investigations and prosecutions. All five found flaws with the investigation, and several said investigators approached the case favoring the perception of the officer, a stance the experts said is common in such cases. The Post’s analysis found steps missing from the investigative report, such as scene diagrams, that some experts said are typically performed in officer-involved shooting investigations.


The Post also created a 3D reconstruction to show Jenison’s position at each of the moments he fired at Albers. The reconstruction was based on available evidence. It used a combination of drone flyovers, laser scanned geometry and low-resolution dashboard cameras to recreate the incident within a reasonable margin of error. Jenison was close to the van when it first backed out of the garage, and then briefly in the path of the van after it spun around, but he moved out of the van’s path each time and then fired, videos included with the file and The Post reconstruction show.

《华盛顿邮报》还制作了一个三维重建图像,展示了詹尼森警官每次向阿尔伯斯开枪时的位置。重建工作基于现有证据绘制。结合无人机航拍、激光扫描和低分辨率车载摄像头提供的图像拟真现实,在合理的误差范围内重现了事件的完整过程。调查文件和《华盛顿邮报》的重建视频显示,在车初次倒出车库时,詹尼森警官离车很近,货车后转弯驶向詹尼森警官所在的位置。 詹尼森多次躲开车子后退路线后,开始掏枪射击

Immediately after the shooting, Jenison said “I thought he was going to run me over.” He later told investigators, “From my memory, it felt it was going fast enough to be a threat and to cause bodily harm to me.” District Attorney Howe noted that officers are entitled to use deadly force “if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or someone else.”
After he shot and killed an unarmed teen driver, a Kansas police officer was paid a $70,000 severance


Ed Obayashi, a California sheriff’s deputy who trains police in conducting investigations of officer-involved shootings, reviewed the case file and said that “the most glaring flaw of the entire investigation is the interview [of Jenison]. All they did was one short interview,” lasting less than 45 minutes. He said a follow-up interview, with questions developed from the advancing investigation, is necessary in every case. “We always go back to the witnesses and reinterview them. There’s no reason the officer wouldn’t consent to a follow-up,” Obayashi said.

加州副警长埃德·大林(Ed Obayashi)负责培训警方对涉及警员的枪击事件进行调查,他在察看案件档案过后表示,“整个调查中最明显问题出在(对詹尼森警官的) 询问环节。”他们只对詹尼森进行了一个简短的询问,“持续时间还没到45分钟”。他说,对每一个案件都有必要进行后续讯问,并随着调查的推进提出问题。“我们总是回到证人身边,并重新对他们询问取证。警察没有理由不同意进行后续调查,”该副警长说到。
原创翻译:龙腾网 转载请注明出处

Shawn Reynolds, the leader of the investigation as a former deputy chief in Olathe, Kan., and now the police chief in Temple, Tex., declined to discuss the investigation, as did Howe, the district attorney of Johnson County. Presented with a summary of The Post’s findings, Howe said in an email that “many of your conclusions are factually incorrect” but said he could not elaborate because of the ongoing federal investigation, which does not prohibit Howe from discussing the local investigation.

曾任堪萨斯州奥拉西市副局长的肖恩·雷诺兹(Shawn Reynolds)为此次调查的负责人。目前他是德克萨斯州坦普尔市的警察局长。约翰逊县地方检察官豪伊对此次调查发表意见。在收到《华盛顿邮报》调查结果的摘要后,这位地方检察官在一封电子邮件中表示,“你的许多结论与事实不符”,但他表示,由于事件正在进行联邦调查过程中,他无法详细说明,不过联邦调查并未禁止豪伊讨论地方调查。
原创翻译:龙腾网 转载请注明出处

Detectives involved in the case did not respond or would not speak to The Post, nor would anyone from the Johnson County crime lab. Jenison and his lawyer also declined to comment.