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Johnson County Clergy Call For Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez To Resign

Rev. Bobby Love gestures while speaking at a podium in front of Overland Park City Hall on Monday.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Rev. Bobby Love, co-chair of Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, along with other clergy call for the resignation of Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez on Monday.

The group alleges Overland Police Department Chief misled the public in his handling of an officer's killing of Johnson County teenager John Albers.

Faith leaders from across the metro are calling for the resignation of Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez.

Gathered in front of Overland Park City Hall on Monday, members of Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2), called for his termination in the wake of a pattern of police behavior they said lacks “transparency, accountability, and discipline.”

Rev. Bobby Love, co-chair of the group, said the department mischaracterized the circumstances surrounding the departure of Clayton Jenison, the officer who shot and killed Overland Park teen John Albers in 2018.

Love says recently uncovered details show something totally different than what the public was originally told.

Initially, Donchez said Jenison left the department “under ordinary circumstances," despite the fact that he was paid $70,000 as part of a severance deal.

John Albers was shot by Clayton Jenison on Jan. 20, 2018, during a call to his home after a report that he was suicidal. After police arrived, body camera footage shows a white minivan backing out of the Albers’ garage. Jenison fired two shots at the minivan and then fired 11 more times after Albers, who was driving, made a sudden U-turn. Albers was hit six times.

“We want everybody to know that we're not anti-police. What we are, is wanting the police to do the right thing and to say the right thing,” Love said. “The best disinfectant that you can ever have is sunlight and transparency.”

Faith leaders took turns speaking briefly Monday. Some also cited the verdict in the George Floyd killing as an awakening of conscience.

“This is such a crossroads in our journey for justice,” said Sheila Albers, the mother of John Albers.

Albers said she still supports the police.

“They need to be held accountable when there’s an egregious mistake,” she said.

“We long and pray for what is broken to be made whole,” said Love. “But we must remain firm in our conviction that telling the truth is always the right thing to do.”

Overland Park Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As KCUR’s general assignment reporter and visual journalist, I bring our audience inside the daily stories that matter most to the people of the Kansas City metro, showing how and why events affect residents. Through my photography, I seek to ensure our diverse community sees itself represented in our coverage. Email me at carlos@kcur.org.
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