Video has been released of a police officer in Overland Park, Kansas, shooting and killing a suicidal teen on Jan. 20.
According to police, 17-year-old John Albers told a friend on Facetime that he had been taking pills and drinking, was done with life and threatened to hurt himself, notes WDAF.
The video shows Albers backing a van out of his family’s garage while an officer chooses to stand in the driveway — behind the van — and shoot his gun two times at Albers.
The van backs ups and spins out of control, while the officer fires 11 more times, killing Albers.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced on Feb. 20 that the officer who killed Albers would not be charged with any crime.
Howe did not allow a grand jury to review the video and decide if the officer used “reasonable force.”
Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez Jr. claimed the officer, whom he refused to identify, was in danger (after choosing to approach the van):
He was out of the way at one point, but as you saw the van turned around and came back at him. One of the misconceptions is that if you are alongside a vehicle you are no longer subject to danger. That’s not remotely true.
One cut of the wheel to one side or other can take you down with the side of the vehicle. Don’t let the fact that he’s alongside the vehicle fool anyone into believing that he’s no longer in danger. A vehicle can be a weapon. That factored into our equation.
Donchez falsely claimed: “No officer goes to work and wants to take a life.”
There have been numerous instances in which police have intentionally killed people, dating back decades.
U.S. police consistently lead the developed world in police killings of civilians, noted Vox; police killed over 1,100 Americans in 2017.
Howe admitted that Overland Park police mostly shoot mentally ill people:
Please give us more resources to deal with mental health crisis in the country. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our officer-involved shootings involve people with mental illness.