Eddie Irizarry shooting: Video shows Philly Police Officer Mark Dial fired quickly after getting out of his patrol car


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Jun 25, 2023

Eddie Irizarry shooting: Video shows Philly Police Officer Mark Dial fired quickly after getting out of his patrol car

»Update: Officer Mark Dial, who shot Eddie Irizarry, will be fired for insubordination, Outlaw says A Philadelphia police officer shot Eddie Irizarry through his car window multiple times at near

»Update: Officer Mark Dial, who shot Eddie Irizarry, will be fired for insubordination, Outlaw says

A Philadelphia police officer shot Eddie Irizarry through his car window multiple times at near point-blank range just five seconds after getting out of his patrol car, according to surveillance video released Tuesday by a lawyer for Irizarry’s family.

The video, captured by a nearby home’s surveillance camera, shows Irizarry, 27, driving his Toyota Corolla the wrong way down the 100 block of East Willard Street and parking on Aug. 14. A police patrol car then came down the block.

Officer Mark Dial and his partner stopped their cruiser in the middle of the street, then stepped out of the car, immediately drew their guns and pointed them at Irizarry’s parked car.

“Show us your hands!” the officers yelled, according to the video.

One of the officers then said, “He’s got a f— knife.”

“I will f— shoot you,” Dial yelled as he ran to the driver’s side of the car.

Almost immediately, Dial shot multiple times at near point-blank range through the driver’s side window. He fired again through the windshield as he ran backward and circled around the car.

“Shots fired, shots fired,” one of the officers said over police radio.

Irizarry, seated in the driver’s seat with the windows rolled up, was shot six times. He could be seen in the video writhing in pain, and honked his car horn several times.

“Get your hands off that right now!” Dial yelled from the passenger side, as he attempted to open the locked passenger door, shaking the car back and forth.

Dial then walked back around to the driver’s side of the car, the video shows, and reached through the window, which had been shattered by bullets, to unlock the car door.

“Put your hands up right where I can see them,” Dial told Irizarry, his gun still pointed at him.

Dial and his partner then pulled Irizarry’s body from the driver’s seat and carried him, by his arms and one of his legs, to their cruiser.

They rushed him to Temple University Hospital, where he died a short time later, at 12:48 p.m.

Fortunato Perri, a lawyer who represents the Fraternal Order of Police, said in an emailed statement that Dial “has the full support of the Fraternal Order of Police as we continue to review the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to discuss the case.

The Irizarry family’s lawyer, Shaka Johnson, said the Police Department’s initial narrative — that Irizarry fled a traffic stop, emerged from his car with a knife, and then “lunged” at officers — was “an intentional misleading of the public.”

“What about what you just saw could ever be confused as, ‘He got out of the car and lunged at police officers’?” Johnson asked. “That was an out-and-out, flat-out lie.”

Johnson said he intended to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Dial and the City of Philadelphia on behalf of the family.

Johnson, a defense lawyer who has represented other families of victims of police shootings in the city, said Irizarry’s family had arranged with the City Solicitor’s Office to privately view the officers’ body-worn camera footage on Friday afternoon, but the District Attorney’s Office rescinded the offer, citing concerns with how it might affect the ongoing criminal investigation.

The family and their lawyers returned to the block in search of video themselves, Johnson said, and when they came upon a neighbor’s footage, they decided the public needed to see it.

“In my view,” Johnson said, “this is a crime against humanity, to be perfectly truthful.”

Johnson said Philadelphia police had not obtained the footage, which was from the house nearly directly in front of where Irizarry was shot.

The episode started about 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 14, police say, when two uniformed officers with the 24th Police District said they saw Irizarry “driving erratically” near B and Westmoreland Streets in North Philadelphia.

Police initially said that the officers attempted to get Irizarry to pull over, but that he fled in his Toyota Corolla. The officers followed Irizarry south until he stopped on East Willard Street, they said, adding that he stepped out with a knife.

Police said the officers gave “multiple commands” for him to drop the weapon, but Irizarry “lunged” at the officers. Dial, a five-year veteran of the force, then shot Irizarry multiple times, police said.

» READ MORE: Eddie Irizarry’s family say they knew from the start that police lied. Now, they want accountability.

Details at the scene — a bullet hole through the windshield, a shot-out driver’s window, and Irizarry’s car parallel parked on the block — were inconsistent with that narrative. And video posted on social media of the moments after the shooting showed the officers pulling Irizarry from the driver’s seat.

When police officials reviewed the officers’ body worn camera footage, they realized the initial account was not true, said Commissioner Outlaw. Outlaw later said Irizarry did not flee a traffic stop or lunge at the officers with a knife, and was seated in his car when the officer shot him.

Police now say that after the officers observed Irizarry “driving erratically,” they did not attempt to pull him over, and instead followed him as he drove south. Irizarry then drove the wrong way onto the 100 block of East Willard Street, and parked his car, they said.

According to the updated statement released last Tuesday, officers got out of their patrol car and approached Irizarry’s car, and as Dial approached the driver’s side, his partner attempted to open the passenger side door. The partner then yelled that “the male had a weapon,” police said.

Dial then shot Irizarry multiple times, they said. The statement said that “two knives were observed inside the vehicle.” Outlaw declined to say whether Irizarry was holding a knife when he was shot, and would not say whether Dial ordered Irizarry to drop a weapon before he shot him. Outlaw also declined to specify the length of time between when Dial got out of the car and when he opened fire.

Police later said they found a kitchen-style knife and a folded serrated blade inside the car.

Outlaw acknowledged the community’s concern about the changing narrative last week, and pledged a thorough, transparent investigation.

“I understand and want to acknowledge the hurt and confusion that family and community members can experience when details of investigations change, and especially when they change in a very public way,” she said at a news conference last week.

She said she could not answer many questions about details of the shooting while internal and criminal inquiries were underway.

Johnson said Outlaw’s attempts to correct the record last week fell short and said the initial narrative was “an intentional misleading of the public.”

“That was not a mislead, that is a blatant lie, and an attempt to sort of mislead an investigation, and quite frankly, to corrupt the court of public opinion,” he said.

“These folks are good, law-abiding, God-fearing citizens,” he said. “We trust law enforcement. We trust police officers. And at least for a night, they were made to think that Eddie did something that he didn’t do.”

Jane Roh, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, said the office “has been in contact repeatedly and at length with the Irizarry family by communicating with their legal counsel.” She said the department will meet with the family and show them the body-worn camera footage “in the near future.”

“The DA’s Office intends to keep its sworn obligation to seek justice for all those involved in the fatal shooting of Mr. Irizarry, as well as for all those Philadelphians who are not directly involved but who care deeply about fairness, justice, and independence,” Roh said in a statement.

Irizarry came to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico seven years ago and has lived in North Philadelphia ever since, his family said. He worked as a mechanic and enjoyed riding dirt bikes and listening to music, said his family, who affectionately called him “Junito.”

He was introverted and kind, they said, and did not speak or understand English. Johnson said Irizarry had no criminal record, “never once had a negative encounter with police.”

Irizarry had struggled with schizophrenia, a disorder that other members of his family have lived with, Johnson said. His mother is currently hospitalized and being treated for it, he said.

Still, Johnson said, the officers would not have known that when they encountered Irizarry’s car, or during their seconds-long interaction with him before he was shot.

Shortly after the news conference ended, Irizarry’s family and friends gathered on East Willard Street, where he was shot and killed. They renewed their calls to view the officers’ body worn camera footage and demanded that Dial be charged.

”We need answers. Why?” said Zoraida Garcia, Irizarry’s aunt. “Why is this officer still at home? He murdered my nephew.”

The video, the family said, was proof of what they’ve maintained since the day Irizarry was killed: that he was not a threat to police.

Johnson said Irizarry carried a pocket knife that he used for work, stripping wires and removing parts as a mechanic.

Irizarry’s sister, Maria, said the family feels “a bit of relief” that the video of her brother’s death is now public.

“Other people can see how innocent he was, and that they didn’t even give him time to take out his ID,” she said in Spanish. “They didn’t even give him time to lower his windows.”