Attorneys representing a Philadelphia police officer, who fatally shot a driver, will seek the dismissal of murder and related charges during the officer’s upcoming preliminary hearing in court.
Officer Mark Dial faces charges of murder, manslaughter, official oppression, and four other counts in connection with the death of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry on August 14. Earlier this month, Dial’s bail was revoked following prosecutors’ arguments that the charges made him ineligible for release.
Police body cam footage captures Dial firing his weapon at close range through the driver’s side window of Irizarry’s sedan during a vehicle stop. The video shows Dial shooting Irizarry approximately seven seconds after exiting a police SUV and approaching the car, firing a total of six rounds.
Defense attorneys argue that the shooting was justified, contending that the 27-year-old officer believed Irizarry was armed. The bodycam footage depicts the driver holding a knife near his right leg.
Lawyer Brian McMonagle stated, “When police officers ordered him to show his hands, he instead produced a weapon and pointed it at an armed police officer. In no world are those facts considered murder.”
District Attorney Larry Krasner has emphasized the significance of the videos as crucial evidence in the case, asserting that they “speak for themselves.”
The initial police department statements, which claimed that Dial shot the driver outside the vehicle after he “lunged at” officers with a knife, had to be retracted. Dial, a five-year veteran of the force, was suspended with the intention of dismissal due to his refusal to cooperate with investigators.
Irizarry’s family has advocated for a lengthy prison sentence for Dial.
According to police officials, the midday pursuit commenced when officers observed the vehicle being driven erratically, turning the wrong way down a one-way street before coming to a stop.