Eddie Irizarry’s family requested the public release of a body camera video captured by Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial during his shooting death on August 14.
The Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry at close range while sitting in his car in Kensington last month has been charged with murder, according to prosecutors.
On Friday morning, Mark Dial, 27, surrendered to the police along with his attorneys and leaders from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5. He remained silent and looked ahead as he entered the station.
Dial has been charged with first-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and other offenses by District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office.
During a news conference, Krasner stressed the importance of being fair to all, emphasizing that justice can be achieved regardless of one’s status.
Krasner declined to answer specific questions about the Aug. 14 shooting, citing body-worn camera footage as evidence and his office’s decision to focus on the court case instead of breaking media bias.
The charges against Dial were deemed “appalling” by his lawyers outside the South Philadelphia police station where he surrendered and believed Irizarry had a firearm in his possession.
Attorney Brian McMonagle stated that the police officers are now at risk during a time when the city is facing its most violent history.
On Friday afternoon, Dial, a police officer for five years, was arraigned. As with most first-degree murder charges, they are typically incarcerated without bond. However, bail magistrate Marilyn DeLeon and Municipal Court Judge Christian DiCicco agreed to set Diall’s bail at $500,000.
The police union posted the required bail of $50,000, which was worth 10% of the total amount, to have him released almost immediately.
The charges are the latest development in a contentious case that has caused protests and raised concerns about the Police Department’s handling of the incident. On the day of this, law enforcement officials reported that Irizarry had lunged at Dial while clutching duct tape, prompting the officer to fire his gun. However, footage from the scene showed that both men were sitting with knives when Diall opened fire just minutes after being present.
Prior to announcing the charges, Krasner played clips of Irizarry’s officers’ body camera footage that his family requested be made public unredacted and in its entirety. Krastorer warned the public not to watch the footage, calling it “extremely violent” and traumatizing.
“It’s a video that depicts the last moments of ten-year-old boy,” he declared.
What is the body-worn camera capturing?
Dial and his associate from the 24th Police District encountered Irizarry on August 14 at around 12:30 p.m. in North Philadelphia near B and Westmoreland Streets. They reported that they observed him driving south for a few blocks before turning onto the 100 block of East Willard Street and eventually pulled up next to him.
The officers’ body-worn camera technology does not record sound until they press a button, as Krasner pointed out, shortly before they exited their patrol car to approach Irizarry.
Here’s what the videos seemed to indicate:
Dial opened the door before the police car stopped moving. He quickly exited and drew his gun.
Dial’s significant other yelled out, “Give me your hands!”
As the officers sped towards the car, Irizarry was in the driver’s seat with the windows rolled up and holding a small knife.
It is challenging to determine what Dial’s partner yelled next in the video, as the audio from his body-worn camera was not activated, and the attorneys for Diall and Irizarry’ family presented differing interpretations of the footage, which will likely be an important aspect of a potential trial.
The Irizarry family’s lawyer and the prosecutors both assert that the partner shouted “knife,” while Dial’S defense lawyers claimed that he yelled out “gun!”
After that, Dial sprinted towards the driver’s side of the vehicle and held up his firearm to the window.
Dial screamed, “I will shoot you.”
He fired at the door window and windshield from almost close range, striking Irizarry six times before fleeing.
Dial remarked to his police radio, “Shots fired, shots fired.”
After circling his car, Dial proceeded to Irizarry’s passenger door where he made an effort to open it, but it was unlocked.
He shouted, “Stop letting that get to you!” at Irizarry.
The partner of Dial attempted to soothe him.
“Put your feet up, Mark,” he said.
The partner shifted the cruiser by a few feet to make room for Irizarry’s Toyota.
Over the radio, he begged for the supply of cars.
Irizarry was heavily bleeding and leaned back in his seat as Dial turned around to the driver’s side.
Dial instructed him to open the car door by placing his hands up.
Irizarry merely begged, his arms flapping and eyes peeing in disbelief.
The passenger side door was opened by Dial’s partner, who appeared to be looking for the knife and leaned into the car.
“I can’t find it, I just saw it,” he said.
Dial wore blue gloves and pulled Irizarry out by his arms. He was lying on the cement and had stopped moving.
Irizarry was placed in the cruiser by officers with his arms and one of his legs. Dial immediately transported him to Temple University Hospital, where he was declared dead shortly after.
As the police arrived, Dial’s wife stayed with the car. A group of neighbors congregated in the street to observe, record, and voice their disapproval of the officers’ behavior.
A neighbor asked why they were killing him.
He is being accused of committing a crime and paying for it.
Dial’s lawyers disclosed his initial account on Friday morning, when he was approached by the couple outside a South Philadelphia police station. He claimed to have opened fire after hearing someone shouting that Irizarry had armed himself with crowbars.
He saw someone pointing a gun in his face, and fearing he might be the next police officer killed in Philadelphia, said McMonagle, his attorney.
According to Shaka Johnson, Irizarry’s family lawyer, he was not given sufficient time for the officer to comply with his orders to release the knife.
Dial had been publicly requesting charges from Irizarry’s family and supporters for several weeks.
The family expressed their relief on Friday morning when they heard about the charges against Dial.
Eddie Irizarry, the father of the individual who gave him his last name, declared that the footage refuted any allegations of his son’s wrongdoing and demonstrated the swiftness with which Dial ended his life.
His aunt, Zoraida Garcia, concurred. “I’m aware that it doesn’t bring back my nephew, but at least he’s being held accountable for his crime,” she declared.
The union has full support for Dial, as stated by John McNesby, the President of Local FOP.
The speaker urged the public to postpone voting until all the evidence is presented during trial.
Dial was suspended with the Police Department and threatened to be fired last month. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw stated that she was planning to dismiss him for insubordination after he refused to discuss the shooting with internal investigators.
The department did not provide any information about the footage or murder charges in a statement, instead stating that their internal affairs investigation is ongoing and they are committed to safeguarding the communities they serve.
Outlaw, who announced her resignation this week to take on a new job, had previously declined to reveal whether she believed Dial had committed ill-will.
During a bail hearing on Friday afternoon, Fortunato Perri Jr., one of Mark Dial’s attorneys, revealed that the police recommended charging him with voluntary manslaughter rather than first-degree murder after submitting an initial affidavit of probable cause for his arrest.
The state constitution in Pennsylvania has been holding defendants without bail for years, as per the traditional interpretation. Jules Epstein, a law professor at Temple University, believes that such exceptions are exceedingly rare.
He mentioned that a 2021 case from the state Supreme Court established specific conditions for murder defendants to request bail, and the judge in this case agreed with Dial’s ruling.
Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement saying that the loved ones of Eddie Irizarry are holding his heart.
Kenney stated that the District Attorney’s Office is making efforts to seek justice for Mr. Irizarry and his family, even though no action can be taken as a City to bring him back.
Krasner has been the fourth police officer to be charged in connection with an on-duty shooting since he became governor in 2018. One officer was convicted, one case was dismissed, and one is still pending in court.
A preliminary hearing is expected to take place later this month, with Dial as the witness.