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Philadelphia Police Officer Charged With Murder In Traffic Stop Shooting

Mark Dial, a police officer in Philadelphia, was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry.
Mark Dial, a police officer in Philadelphia, was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry.

Mark Dial, a police officer in Philadelphia, was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry.

Philadelphia’s district attorney has charged a police officer with murder in the death of a man he shot multiple times during a traffic stop last month.

District Attorney Larry Krasner on Friday announced various charges against Philadelphia Police Department’s Mark Dial, accusing him of not only murder but aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and official oppression. Dial surrendered to authorities.

This came as the DA’s office released unedited body camera footage of the shooting incident. Though police had previously claimed that 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry lunged at them with a weapon, the video shows Irizarry holding a small knife near his thigh while in his car with the window up, and he does not lunge at officers.

Dial also faces allegations of aggravated assault and simple assault, among others.
Dial also faces allegations of aggravated assault and simple assault, among others.

Dial also faces allegations of aggravated assault and simple assault, among others.

On Aug. 14, Irizarry pulled into a parking spot in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. He was followed by Dial and his partner after the officers saw Irizarry driving erratically.

In the bodycam footage, Dial is shown getting out of his police vehicle and quickly approaching Irizarry’s car. Dial’s partner grabs a door on Irizarry’s car and shouts for the man to show his hands.

Dial then gets close to the car with his gun drawn. 

“Show that fucking hand. I will fucking shoot you,” Dial shouts. 

About five seconds after that warning, Dial fires six shots at close range into the vehicle.

Dial’s partner can be heard on the footage telling Dial to stop. “Mark, hold up, stop,” he says. 

Irizarry appears to grimace in pain, but Dial continues shouting at him with his gun drawn.

“Fuck, Mark, move the car,” the partner says after looking at Irizarry’s bloodied body in the driver’s seat.

Both officers then drag Irizarry’s body, seemingly lifeless, out of the vehicle. 

Nearby residents soon descend on the scene. 

“Why did y’all kill him?” one resident can be heard saying in the footage. 

Dial was placed on a 30-day suspension from the department after the shooting. Outgoing Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who announced earlier this week that she is resigning, said she intended to fire him at the end of the suspension.

Dial refusedto cooperate with an internal police investigation into the shooting, authorities said.

Outlaw indicated last month that Dial violated department policies and initially gave a false narrative of the fatal encounter.

Surveillance footage capturing the incident was released at that time, and it similarly showed that officers provided reporters with a narrative differing from what actually occurred. Officers originally claimed Irizarry was outside of his car and had been given multiple commands to drop a weapon before they fired, but the surveillance video showed Irizarry inside his vehicle.

“The allegations brought against defendant Mark Dial today are among the most serious in our criminal legal system and are the culmination of weeks of investigative work by the PPD Officer Involved Shooting Investigation team, PPD Internal Affairs, and the independent review of the dedicated public corruption prosecutors in the DA’s Office,” Krasner said in a statement. 

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Friday also released a statementon the shooting.

“My heart is with the loved ones of Eddie Irizarry as they continue to grieve the loss of his life,” Kenney said.

“I recognize that no action that we take as a City can bring him back, but I am confident that the District Attorney’s Office is working toward justice for Mr. Irizarry and his family.

“I have watched the footage and I understand that it may provoke anger and upset in our communities. We ask that the public remain peaceful in demonstrations and calls for accountability as we continue to process this tragedy as a city.”

A judge set Dial’s bail at $500,000 after he was arraigned Friday morning.