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Mother settles wrongful death police shooting suit for $2.3M

January 15, 2019

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — The mother of a suburban Kansas City teenager who was fatally shot by police as he backed a minivan out of his family’s garage has reached a $2.3 million settlement with the city.

In the settlement, the city of Overland Park, Kansas, makes no admission of wrongdoing in the January 2017 death of 17-year-old John Albers, The Kansas City Star reported . He was killed after officers responded to a report that he was making suicidal comments on social media.

“John is forever gone and there is nothing that can ever excuse such an unreasonable use of force,” the teen’s mother, Sheila Albers, said in a statement Monday, which is the same day The Star obtained the settlement agreement through an open records request.

Dashcam police video shows the van slowly backing out when two shots are fired from the side, and then whipping around backward toward the house again as the officer fired 11 more times. The lawsuit claimed John Albers was incapacitated by the first two shots, leaving the van out of control as the officer continued firing.

The officer, Clayton Jenison, “acted recklessly and deliberately” when he shot the teenager, who may not have known police were at his home, the lawsuit said. Jenison resigned after the shooting, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

A Johnson County citizens group, JOCO United, formed after the teen was killed and pushed for transparency.

“We can only hope this tragedy serves to prevent similar tragedies from happening to other families,” Albers said. “JOCO United seeks to improve Crisis Intervention Team training when officers encounter citizens in mental distress and to expand transparency of public agencies by allowing access to information in police shootings.”

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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