Philly cop charged with murder for shooting man sitting in car | Englishheadline


A Philadelphia police officer turned himself in Friday morning to face murder charges for fatally shooting a man sitting in his car — after police-worn body camera footage contradicted his claim that the young man “lunged” at him with a knife.

Mark Dial, 27, was also charged with voluntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment of another person and official oppression for the Aug. 14 shooting of Eddie Irizarry Jr.,  27, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said at a news conference Friday morning as he released the gruesome body camera footage.

It showed Dial — a five-year veteran of the force — approaching Irizarry, who was sitting in his gold Toyota Camry with the windows rolled up, and firing six shots through the window.

His lawyers claim he thought Dial had a gun, but prosecutors say Irizarry did not even have a chance to react to the police officer — who fired his weapon within just five seconds of arriving at the scene.

“These videos speak for themselves,” Krasner said at the news conference.

The 22 minutes of footage show Dial shouting at Irizarry, who remained in his vehicle in the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia.

“Show me your hands, I will f–ing shoot you,” he can be heard yelling at Irizarry, before he fires six shots through the window at nearly point-blank range.

Mark Dial is pictured entering a police station to turn himself in.
Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial, 27, turned himself in on Friday to face murder charges.

Philly Boricuas, a local Puerto Rican community and activism group, rallies in support of Eddie Irizarry.
Dial fatally shot Eddie Irizarry Jr.,  27, on Aug. 14, while the victim was sitting in his car.

He then radios to his fellow officers, “Shots fired,” and opens the driver’s door.

Inside, Irizarry could be seen lying bloody and motionless in his seat, softly moaning as Dial shouts, “Get your hands up now.”

It also shows Dial and his unidentified partner pulling Irizarry out of the car and loading him into their patrol car to rush him to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The footage contradicted the Philadelphia Police Department’s original statement, which claimed officers gave Irizarry “multiple commands” to drop a knife, but he “lunged at them.”

Officials retracted that statement just about 30 hours later, after reviewing the body camera footage.

Shaka Johnson, a lawyer for the Irizarry family, said last week the footage did indeed show Dial telling Irizarry to “drop the knife.”

He explained that Irizarry was holding a pocket knife by his leg, but did not appear to be threatening Dial or his partner from the 24th Precinct with it.

The senior Eddie Irizarry, the victim’s father, said he was relieved that the body camera footage was released.

Surveillance footage from the scene shows Dial shooting into the window at near point-blank range.
Surveillance footage from the scene shows Dial shooting into the window at nearly point-blank range.
YouTube/6abc Philadelphia

The family had seen the footage privately last week, and called on the district attorney to release it in full.

Irizarry told the Philadelphia Inquirer he believes the footage dispels any notion that his son had done anything wrong, and showed just how quickly Dial shot him.

He also said he hoped Dial would face “severe” punishment, while Zoraida Garcia, the victim’s aunt, said she was relieved that Dial was charged for the shooting.

“I know that’s not bring[ing] my nephew back, but at least he’s paying for a crime he committed,” she told the Inquirer.

“He needs to face murder charges because that’s what he did, he murdered my nephew.”

Dial’s lawyers claim there is more to the story, and blasted the decision to charge him with murder.

“The decision to charge Officer Mark Dial with murder is appalling,” Brian McMonagle said at a separate news conference Friday morning. 

He said Dial and his partner first encountered Irizarry just before 12:30 p.m. in the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia and followed him for a few blocks.

But, McMonagle said, Irizarry tried to evade the officers by making an illegal turn onto a one-way street.

“When police officers ordered him to show his hands, he instead produced a weapon and pointed it at an armed police officer,” the attorney claimed. 

“Video evidence in this case, which we’ve uncovered, demonstrates completely that Officer Dial got out of his car, ordered him to show his hands and then heard ‘Gun!’ You can hear it in the video,” McMonagle continued.

“He then saw an individual pointing what he thought was a gun right in his face. Fearing he was going to be the next police officer killed in the streets of Philadelphia, he fired.”

McMonagle explained that it was difficult to see inside the car, and that Dial was simply responding based on what he heard.

“What each of them saw when he looked into that car was glare and what appeared to be a weapon,” he said. “They thought it was a weapon. They thought it was a gun!”

McMonagle went on to slam the charges against his client, saying: “This decision today puts police officers in peril at a time when they’re dealing with perhaps the most violent time in our city’s history.

“We need to right this wrong and bring this young man home.”

The Fraternal Order of Police has also suggested it will continue to stand by Dial, telling ABC News last month: “Officer Dial has the full support of the Fraternal Order of Police and we continue to review the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

Authorities work the scene following the shooting.
Dial’s attorneys claim he believed Irizarry had a gun on him when he fired six shots through the window.

A police officer is seen in front of the Toyota Camry where Irizarry was killed.
The lawyers contend it was difficult to see inside the vehicle, and Dial was simply responding based on what he heard.

Dial had been suspended for 30 days following the shooting, and then-Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said she intended to fire him at the end of the suspension.

Outlaw, who has since stepped down, said on Aug. 23 that an administrative investigation found Dial violated department rules against “insubordination” by allegedly refusing to obey “proper orders from a superior officer.”

The investigation also accused Dial of “conduct unbecoming” of an officer for “failure to cooperate in any departmental investigation.”

Dial is being held without bail.

The case marks the fourth time Krasner has charged an officer in an on-duty shooting since he took office in 2018, the Inquirer reports.

Before that, it reports, prosecutors had not charged a city police officer in an on-duty shooting in nearly two decades.

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