More News:

September 08, 2023

Philly police officer Mark Dial charged with murder in fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry

Body-worn camera footage released by the D.A.'s office shows the moments before and after the shooting in Kensington

Investigations Police Shootings
Irizarry Dial Charged Source/District Attorney's Office

Body camera footage released Friday by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office shows the moments before and after the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry on Aug. 14, 2023. Officer Mark Dial is charged with murder and related offenses. The image above shows Dial retreating after he opened fire.

Mark Dial, the Philadelphia police officer who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry during a traffic stop in Kensington, surrendered to police Friday and was charged with murder. Shortly afterward, the District Attorney's Office released body-worn camera footage that provided a detailed look at the shooting. 

More than 20 minutes of graphic footage taken from the cameras worn by Dial and his partner, who has not been named, depict the events that occurred before, during and after the Aug. 14 shooting on East Willard Street. 

"All of it has played a part in our charging decision," District Attorney Larry Krasner said at a press conference, where the two officers' body-camera videos were played in their entirety. 

The videos continuously show what unfolded  — from the shooting scene to the hospital where Irizarry died — but some portions do not contain audio. In Pennsylvania, officers must manually activate the microphones on their body cameras. Dial's partner's body camera footage does not have audio until seconds after the shooting. 

The body-camera footage released by the D.A.'s Office can be seen below. Warning: It is graphic and may be unsettling. 

Dial and his partner began following Irizarry's Toyota around 12:30 p.m. because he was driving erratically in the area of B Street and Erie Avenue, police said. Irizarry turned the wrong way down the 100 block of East Willard Street and then parked his car. The police cruiser then pulled up next to Irizarry's car and the two officers got out, shouting at Irizarry to show his hands. 

Moments later, Dial, 27, fired multiple shots through Irizarry's closed driver's side window before firing a final shot through the windshield as he moved past the front of the car. 

The body camera footage confirmed that Irizarry, 27, never left his car. Police initially had said Irizarry had "lunged" at the officers with a knife before he was shot. Two days later, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said that account was not accurate.

In the surveillance video released by Irizarry's family, Dial and his partner can be heard shouting at Irizarry to show his hands immediately after they left their police cruiser. 

"He's got a f***ing knife," one of the officers can be heard saying.

"I will f***ing shoot you!" Dial says before opening fire.

The body-camera footage shows Irizarry held a knife near his knee. His family's attorney, Shaka Johnson, who saw the footage last month, has said Irizarry was holding a pocket knife with the blade drawn when he was confronted by police, but that he did not raise it at any point before Dial shot him. 

In the videos, Dial and his partner can be seen removing Irizarry's blood-soaked body from the Toyota and placing him in the back of the police cruiser. Footage from Dial's camera shows him driving Irizarry to the hospital and going inside after the shooting. His partner remained at the scene, where other officers arrived to investigate. 

Dial's partner can be heard in his body cam video discussing the events that led up to the shooting. He explains to other officers that he saw Irizarry holding a knife when he attempted to open the locked passenger side door, and that Dial then fired shots into the car. 

Police said two knives were recovered from the Toyota. 

Krasner declined to comment on the details of what was said by the officers in the body camera videos and the surveillance video the family released. 

"In many ways, they speak for themselves," Krasner said.

Dial turned himself in Friday morning at a police station in South Philadelphia. He was joined by his attorneys and representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5. The Philadelphia Police Department moved to fire him for insubordination last month after he failed to cooperate with the shooting investigation. 

Dial has been charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment of another person and official oppression. Dial is a five-year veteran of the department and most recently had served in the 24th District. 

His attorney, Brian McMonagle, claimed Friday afternoon that Dial opened fire after he had heard the words "f***ing gun" spoken in the moments before the shooting. 

"We have tape where you can hear it loud and clear," McMonagle claimed during a phone call Friday afternoon. 

McMonagle said his team had enhanced the audio from the surveillance video that the family released last month. He said he planned to make that audio public, but didn't say when he would release it. The defense attorney added that he believes the word "gun" can be heard in the videos that are already publicly available, including the body camera footage released Friday. 

"We were mystified when we learned that wasn't going to be part of the district attorney's presentation," McMonagle said. "That doesn't end the inquiry. We're well aware of that. But the combination of him hearing 'f***ing gun' as he's ordering this guy to raise his hands and then seeing what he thinks is a gun, then taking cover — in our minds, makes it unmistakably clear (Dial) truly believed (Irizarry) had a gun and had some reason for believing it."

Earlier Friday, as Dial surrendered in South Philly, McMonagle said it was "appalling" for the officer to be charged. 

"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," McMonagle said. "We intend to right this wrong and bring this young man home."

Irizarry's family is urging people not to riot, loot businesses or commit any other crimes in response to the release of the body camera footage, Krasner said at Friday's press conference. 

Mayor Jim Kenney said he had viewed the videos and understands they may provoke anger. He called for any demonstrations in the city to remain peaceful. 

“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."

Irizarry's family has claimed the false account initially given by police was a deliberate attempt to cover up what happened. 

"This has been an onslaught of lies and fairy tales," Johnson said last month.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who is resigning to take a job with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has denied that the erroneous account was intentional. 

"We have nothing to hide here," Outlaw said last month. "We make mistakes. Unfortunately, the information that was released had pretty dire consequences."

An ongoing internal affairs investigation into the shooting is examining what led to the release of false information before it had been vetted and checked against the body camera footage. 

“We will conclude our administrative investigation as soon as possible to ensure justice and closure is attained for all affected by the death of Mr. Irizarry," Outlaw said.