(The Hill) — The Philadelphia District Attorney charged a former city police officer with murder on Friday over the shooting of a Black man during a traffic stop last month.
Then-officer Mark Dial, who is white, shot and killed Eddie Irizarry, who is Black, while he sat in his vehicle after police stopped his car over alleged erratic driving last month, video showed.
District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) released the graphic unedited body camera footage of the shooting Friday, which appears to show Dial exiting his police cruiser, approaching Irizarry’s driver’s side window and firing six shots just seconds after approaching the car.
Dial and a second police officer then appear to remove Irizarry from his vehicle by his hands and feet and place him in a police cruiser to be transported to a hospital. He was declared dead at an area hospital minutes later.
There was “no question” that the district attorney’s office should bring charges, Krasner said at a press conference, adding if the shooting had involved anyone other than a police officer, there wouldn’t have been a discussion.
“I don’t think we’re saying anything more than the obvious when we say that firing six consecutive charges at close range at a vital part of the body of a person under the law is strongly supportive, together with other evidence, of all of these charges,” he said.
Philadelphia Police initially reported that Irizarry was out of his vehicle and charging at police with a knife when he was shot and killed. The department later changed that account.
At the time, police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the video footage “made it very clear that what we initially reported was not actually what happened.” She announced this week that she will resign from her post, unrelated to the shooting.
Krasner said he chose to release the bodycam footage at the request of Irizarry’s family.
Dial, who has been fired by the department, turned himself in expecting criminal charges earlier Friday. He is charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter and assault. The second police officer, who was driving Dial’s vehicle, was not charged with any crimes.
Krasner said his office’s decision to release the footage and charge the former officer is part of a shift that “we’ve been trying to do for a long time.”
“We have been trying to make it very clear that justice is even-handed,” Krasner said. “It is my hope that as we try to be fair in this case, as we do with all other cases, that the public will understand that they can trust that the district attorney’s office is trying to be fair.”
His office will provide limited explanation on the details of the case, beyond making evidence public, in order to protect the prosecution, he said.
“We are not going to — we are not going to enable the defense in this case,” he said. “Regardless of what creative writing they may engage in outside of court. We are not going to be lured in to give an opportunity to file a spurious motion that somehow [the case] has to be tried somewhere else.”
Krasner said that Dial will be arraigned and bail determined later Friday.