Alaska News

Demonstrators call for Anchorage Police to release body camera video of shooting

Family members of an Anchorage man shot and killed by police joined a demonstration in downtown Anchorage Saturday to demand that police release body-worn camera footage from the incident.

About 80 people gathered at the Delaney Park Strip and marched to Anchorage Police headquarters on Fourth Avenue to urge police chief Bianca Cross to make public the videos of the May 13 shooting of Kristopher Handy outside a West Anchorage apartment building.

“It is the first time we have had more than enough footage to see what happened from all angles. It is the first time that we’ve had policies in place that say that the footage should be released,” said Anchorage resident Jasmin Smith. “And the police chief has the power to do it and it should be done as soon as possible.”

The police department has said it doesn’t intend to release the videos until after ongoing investigations are concluded.

Marchers held signs that said “Release the footage now,” and chanted as they walked in the street. Outside police headquarters at Fourth Avenue and H Street, Handy’s brother, Travis Handy, told the crowd that the event showed that it was a larger issue than just one incident.

“They want answers,” said Travis Handy about the gathered crowd. “We want answers.”

Kristopher Handy was fatally shot by multiple police officers outside his West Anchorage apartment. Police said they responded to a report of a disturbance inside an apartment between a man and a woman. His fiancee later said Handy was talking about harming himself, and said she messaged a neighbor and asked her to call 911 because he was scaring her. Handy exited the building carrying a shotgun, she said, and was killed moments later.


After the incident, Anchorage Police released a statement saying Handy had “raised a long gun” toward officers. Home surveillance video captured police calling for Handy to come out of the apartment with his hands up. Handy then walked out with something in his right hand. It doesn’t clearly show whether Handy was raising a gun.

Cross, the Anchorage Police Chief, responded to concerns about what many perceived as a discrepancy from the police account. Cross said the initial description came from a witness account. “After the Office of Special Prosecutions (OSP) has concluded the criminal portion of ation, and APD’s Internal Affairs has concluded the procedural portion, we will be able to address any outstanding questions,” the statement said.

That’s not soon enough, Handy’s family members said Saturday.

“It’s a precedent-setting situation,” said Monte Handy, Kristopher’s father. “And it should be, and it should be corrected.”

“I do feel that the body camera, dash cam footage will conclusively show what we believe happened. And that’s a reason it is not being released,” Travis Handy said.

In a written statement following the protest, Anchorage Police spokesperson Renee Oistad said that the department understands public’s interest in the case.

“Our priority is to make sure than anyone involved in an open criminal investigation is treated lawfully, fairly, and respectfully. Each citizen in such a situation deserves to be treated equally. APD has a long history of not releasing evidence in investigations until the case has been closed. We will continue that practice in this case as well,” the statement said.

Travis Handy said he spoke with Cross, who offered condolences but reiterated to him that the video would not be immediately released because of the ongoing invesstigations. Monte Handy said the family intends to continue to appeal to both the outgoing and incoming Anchorage mayor as well as the Anchorage Assembly. Assembly member Felix Rivera joined the march Saturday carrying a sign that said “Release the footage.”

“We’re going to continue to put whatever pressure we can mount on this department to get that footage released. All of it, unedited, and the 911 call,” said Monte Handy. “We need to have some closure.”

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Marc Lester

Marc Lester is a multimedia journalist for Anchorage Daily News. Contact him at