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August 22, 2023

Eddie Irizarry's family releases video showing fatal police shooting

The footage confirms the 27-year-old was shot in his car in Kensington. Attorney Shaka Johnson says authorities told a 'flat-out lie' about how the deadly Aug. 14 encounter unfolded

Investigations Shootings
Irizarry Shooting Video Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial fatally shot 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry in his car on Aug. 14. Dial is on restricted duty as police and the D.A.'s office investigate the shooting.

An attorney for the family of Eddie Irizarry released surveillance video Tuesday showing a Philadelphia police officer open fire into his car multiple times, killing the 27-year-old on Aug. 14 after he had parked his car in Kensington.

The graphic video was obtained from a nearby surveillance camera that captured Irizarry parking after he drove the wrong way down the 100 block of East Willard Street. Police had begun following Irizarry's Toyota Corolla around 12:30 p.m., when they said he was seen driving erratically in the area of B Street and Erie Avenue.

MORE: 19-year-old arrested after deadly hit-and-run in Port Richmond

The video shows the police cruiser pull up next to Irizarry's parked car. Two officers immediately step outside and can be heard shouting at Irizarry to show his hands.

"He's got a f***ing knife," one of the officers says.

"I will f***ing shoot you!" says the other officer, who then fires multiple times through the driver's side window and windshield. (Note: The video below contains violent content).

About five seconds pass between the officers exiting their cruiser and Irizarry being shot. The video shows the officers pull Irizarry out of the car before he was taken to Temple University Hospital and pronounced dead.

The officer who killed Irizarry was identified last week as Mark Dial, a five-year veteran of the police department. He has been placed on restricted duty as police conduct an internal investigation to determine whether his use of deadly force followed protocol.

Circumstances of the shooting have come under heavy scrutiny because police initially told a much different story about how it unfolded. Authorities first said Irizarry had been shot outside of his car and that he had lunged at police with a knife. 

The day after the shooting, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw later revised the department's account. Further evidence, including body-worn police camera footage, made clear police had fired into Irizarry's car while he was in the front seat, Outlaw said.

After the shooting, police discovered Irizarry had a pair of knives in the car. It remains unclear if a knife was in Irizarry's hand at the time of the shooting.

Shaka Johnson, the attorney representing the Irizarry family, said Tuesday the video demonstrates police intentionally misrepresented what happened. He was joined by the family at a press conference to share the video and provide updates on the family's efforts in gaining transparency from police. 

"What about what you just saw could ever be confused as ‘He got out of the car and lunged at police officers,’" Johnson said. "Not a single thing. That was an out-and-out, flat-out lie."

Johnson said the family was supposed to see the body camera footage of the shooting last Friday, but that the District Attorney's Office, which is conducting its own investigation into the shooting, withdrew the offer to show it to them. 

"The opportunity to see that was rescinded," Johnson said. "As a result, we're working tirelessly with this family. We had to go about things on our own and acquire video of this particular incident ourselves."

Irizarry moved to the United States from Puerto Rico when he was 19 and did not speak fluent English. He had no prior run-ins with police, Johnson said. 

A Philadelphia police spokesperson said the department is unable to comment on the pubic video due to the ongoing investigation. The department said any decision to release police body camera footage now lies with the District Attorney's Office. 

At a press conference last Wednesday, Outlaw acknowledged police made errors in their initial account of the shooting, which she called preliminary.

“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 the very public way that this has occurred," Outlaw said.

She added, "I understand folks not really being sure whether or not they should even trust what we’re saying today because of what we said initially. But I’m hoping that they see that this is a genuine effort to do everything that we can to share what we know when we have it as we receive it.”

Both the police department's internal affairs investigation and the investigation led by the District Attorney's Office will be monitored by the city's independent Citizens Police Oversight Commission.