Home National Police officer who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry faces murder, other charges

Police officer who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry faces murder, other charges

Demonstrators in Philadelphia demand police accountability and justice for Eddie Irizarry on August 31. (Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto/AP)


(CNN) — The police officer who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry during a traffic stop last month faces criminal charges including murder and voluntary manslaughter, the Philadelphia district attorney said Friday.

District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the charges after releasing unedited body camera footage showing Officer Mark Dial firing into Eddie Irizarry’s car through the driver’s side window, roughly five seconds after exiting a police car.

Immediately before the officer fires at least six shots, an unidentified voice from outside the car is heard saying, “I will f**king shoot you!”

Krasner said Irizarry’s family saw the video and asked that it be released in its entirety.

“These body-worn camera videos will be introduced into evidence, most likely at both the preliminary hearing and a trial,” Krasner said after releasing video of the shooting. “They are crucial evidence in the case and in many ways they speak for themselves.”

Dial, who turned himself in Friday morning, also faces charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangering of another person, and official oppression.

“We intend to vigorously defend him against the charges,” defense attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. said in a statement. “Despite what has been portrayed to the media, the facts will unmistakably show that Officer Mark Dial was legally justified in discharging his weapon while fearing for his life.”

Brian McMonagle, another attorney representing Dial, said Friday that his client believed Irizarry was pointing a gun at him.

“Video evidence in this case which we’ve uncovered demonstrates completely that officer Dial got out of his car, ordered (Irizarry) to show his hands, and then heard ‘gun,’” McMonagle said.

Krasner would not comment on whether an officer is heard in the audio saying that Irizarry had a gun.

“I don’t think we’re saying anything more than the obvious when we say that firing six consecutive (shots) at close range at a vital part of the body of a person under the law is strongly supportive, together with other evidence, of all of these charges,” the district attorney said.

Dial, 27, a five-year veteran of the department, was placed on restricted leave following the August 14 shooting during a traffic stop and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said she intended to fire him at the end of a 30-day suspension period.

The shooting has been the subject of increased scrutiny since Outlaw announced two days after the deadly encounter that the initial police narrative was wrong.

Shortly after the shooting, a police corporal told reporters that officers gave commands for Irizarry to drop a weapon while he was outside of his vehicle.

Irizarry “lunged at the officers; one of the officers discharged his weapon multiple times,” the corporal initially said of the encounter.

But Outlaw later announced Irizarry was inside the vehicle when he was shot.

“The body-worn camera footage made it very clear what we initially reported was not actually what happened,” Outlaw said during a news conference last month.

Surveillance video shows the shooting

In an updated news release on the shooting last month, police said the incident began around noon, when two officers saw a man driving erratically and going the wrong way down a one-way street.

When the man pulled into a parking spot, two officers approached the vehicle, Outlaw said.

One officer warned the other the man had a weapon, then the other officer shot multiple times into the car, according to the release.

Surveillance video from a nearby restaurant and released by an attorney for Irizarry’s family gave a bird’s-eye view of the encounter.

In the video, Irizarry is seen pulling into a parking spot on a narrow residential street and running over orange cones in the process. A police vehicle pulls up to the passenger side of his car a few seconds later.

An officer exits the passenger side of the patrol vehicle and pulls out a firearm from his belt as he crosses the front of the patrol vehicle and heads toward Irizarry’s car yelling what sounds like, “Show us your hands!” and then “Show me your hands” two times, the video shows.

Approximately five seconds elapse between the time that the officer gets out of his patrol car, runs over to the driver’s side of Irizarry’s vehicle, and fires his gun what appears to be six times with at least one shot striking Irizarry’s front windshield. While firing his weapon, the officer is heard shouting what sounds like, “Drop the knife!”

As the officer runs over toward Irizarry, who’s seated in the driver’s seat, Irizarry is seen pulling up the driver’s side window before the officer shoots inside his vehicle.

The video shows the officer appearing to recoil and run back toward his patrol car as he’s shooting at Irizarry.

Both officers then appear to try to get into Irizarry’s vehicle but the doors are locked. The officers are then able to open Irizarry’s car and drag him out of the vehicle and place him into the patrol car.

Two knives were found inside the car, Outlaw has said, though she could not confirm whether Irizarry was holding the knives or whether a warning was given before the officer shot into the car.

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