From: Erann Kalwara - JPD PIO
Case or Incident: #191229-001
On March 6th, 2020, the Juneau Police Department received a letter from the State of Alaska Department of Law, Office of Special Prosecutions reference Officer Esbenshade’s use of force on December 29th, 2019. In essence, Chief Assistant Attorney General Jack McKenna determined that “Officer Esbenshade was legally justified in his use of deadly force in order to defend himself from the threat of serious physical injury posed by Mr. Stephens.” The letter concluded that “The State of Alaska will not bring criminal charges against Officer Esbenshade in relation to his use of deadly force on December 29, 2019.”
Since the incident on December 29th, 2019, Officer Esbenshade has been working at JPD in an administrative status. It is expected that Officer Esbenshade will return to full patrol duty early next week.
All factual allegations contained in this release are based upon preliminary investigation and are subject to change or clarification as the investigation continues. Any charges reported in this release are merely accusations and all persons named in this release are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.