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August 31, 2023

Eddie Irizarry's family says body cam footage suggests Philly police lied about his fatal shooting

The video, expected to be made public within 2 weeks, shows Irizarry did not lunge at officers with a knife, as authorities initially stated, family members said. They viewed it during a private meeting with District Attorney Larry Krasner

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Eddie Irizarry shooting COURTESY/6ABC

Ring camera footage released last week shows Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial fatally shooting Eddie Irizarry after he was pulled over on August 14. Irizarry has since reviewed police body camera footage, which is expected to be released publicly within two weeks.

Video footage from cameras worn by police the day Eddie Irizarry was fatally shot by an officer further refutes the original police narrative of events – and raises new questions about how authorities handled the situation – according to Irizarry's family members and their attorneys.

The body cam footage, which Philadelphia police have not shared publicly, was shown to Irizarry's surviving relatives and their lawyers by District Attorney Larry Krasner in a private meeting Wednesday, the family said at a press conference Thursday. The video is expected to be released to the public within two weeks.

The 21 minutes of footage shows the traffic stop in Kensington and subsequent shooting to the ride to the hospital and events that unfolded there as Irizarry was pronounced dead, the family's attorneys said.

The video also includes audio of dialogue between officers during and after the incident, which the attorneys said further undermines the original narrative given by police about what happened. The attorneys said the footage also depicts officers audibly censoring themselves and shushing one another at times, cautious not to say too much while they were knowingly being recorded.

"This has been an onslaught of lies and fairy tales," Irizarry family attorney Shaka Johnson said. "The footage provides further irrefutable proof that the initial police narrative of this shooting was false."

Eddie Irizarry was shot and killed by Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial on Aug. 14 after being pulled over for driving erratically. Initially, authorities said Irizarry got out of his car and "lunged" at officers with a knife, but they rescinded that version of events a few days later, stating that Irizarry had not gotten out of his car. At the time, Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw declined to give any additional details or answer reporters' questions about the body cam footage.

Last week, Irizarry's family released surveillance camera footage that captured the incident. It showed police pulling over Irizarry, at which point Dial approached his car, shouted at him to show his hands and then shot him several times through the closed window of his car. After the video was released, Dial was fired for insubordination. 

The police body cam footage confirms that authorities initially misled the public about the incident, Irizarry family attorneys said. It also raises questions about exactly how and why an alternative version of events emerged and was disseminated publicly. Some clues may be found in the dialogue on the body cam footage, the attorneys suggested.

At Thursday's press conference, the family members and their attorneys called for Dial to be prosecuted for killing Irizarry and demanded the Philadelphia Police Department provide additional training to its officers to better avoid violent escalations with citizens.

The Irizarry family and their supporters are holding a protest and march Thursday afternoon to demand transparency and justice in the wake of Irizarry's death. The rally starts at 4:30 p.m. at 2600 North Fifth Street and will be followed by a march through North Philly, including a stop at the location where Irizarry was killed.