Juneau police release video, photographs of officer-related shooting

    Rope/chain allegedly swung by Kelly Stephens the night he was killed. Photo credit to JPD.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - JPD is releasing videos and photographs from the December 29, 2019, incident with Kelly Stephens.

    The videos and photographs can be found here.

    The first video is from the patrol car driven by Officer James Esbenshade, which does not have audio recording feature. This video begins with Officer Esbenshade parked on Yandukin Drive, when he is dispatched to Cinema Drive upon a report of “shots fired.”

    Upon arrival to Cinema Drive, the patrol car’s dashcam shows a group of people under ambient light from an apartment building, with one person later identified as Kelly Stephens holding an unidentified slender device. Two other people are backing away from Stephens.

    Stephens walks towards the front of the patrol car after Officer Esbenshade approaches. Officer Esbenshade then retreats backwards out of view of the camera. Prior to advancing off camera and the video ending, Stephens begins to swing the rope/chain over his head towards Officer Esbenshade.

    The second video is footage taken from Officer Esbenshade’s body worn camera.

    In this footage, and as described in the State’s Office of Special Prosecutions letter dated March 6, 2020, Officer Esbenshade exits his patrol car upon arrival at the Chinook Apartments and goes to the patrol vehicle trunk to retrieve his patrol rifle. Officer Esbenshade then approaches the group seen on the patrol car’s dashcam.

    The camera records the following interactions between Stephens and Officer Esbenshade, including Stephens’ threats towards Officer Esbenshade. After retreating and requesting back-up through the use of the statement “Step it up,” Officer Esbenshade fires one round at Stephens. Approximately 43 seconds elapses from the time that Officer Esbenshade exits his patrol car to the time he fires one shot at Stephens.

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