Aug 22, 2023 - News

Video: Philadelphia police officer fatally shoots man inside vehicle

A screenshot of Ring doorbell camera footage of two police officers exiting a patrol cruiser on a street.

Screenshot of video courtesy of Shaka Johnson

The attorney for the family of a man shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer last week released surveillance footage Tuesday that he said shows the officer opened fire within seconds of getting out of a patrol cruiser.

Why it matters: The video the attorney says his investigators obtained from a neighbor's Ring doorbell camera — viewers should expect disturbing content — is the first glimpse that has been provided to the public of what led to the police shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry in Kensington.

Driving the news: Attorney Shaka Johnson, flanked by members of Irizarry's family, said during a news conference Tuesday that the public deserves to see what happened after the family's request to view body camera footage of the shooting was rebuffed.

  • The Philadelphia solicitor's office had agreed to allow the family to watch the footage last week, but that invitation was later rescinded after the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office intervened, Johnson said.

Of note: Police and prosecutors have refused to publicly release the bodycam footage, citing ongoing investigations.

Catch up quick: Philadelphia police changed their story about the shooting after initially claiming that Irizarry was brandishing a knife outside of his Toyota Corolla and lunged at an officer when he was shot.

  • Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw later admitted that information — which was relayed by a police spokesperson to reporters on scene of the Aug. 14 shooting — was erroneous.
  • She said that Irizarry was seated in his vehicle when the officer shot him, which was supported by the footage.

What's happening: Police said that officers pursued Irizarry's vehicle because he was driving erratically in North Philadelphia. Irizarry eventually parked on East Willard Street after traveling down it the wrong way, according to police. The Ring footage captures two officers pulling up alongside Irizarry's vehicle and the moments after.

  • While approaching Irizarry's vehicle, officers shout for him to show his hands. One of the officers is heard saying that Irizarry had a knife, while his partner — who has since been identified by police as officer Mark Dial — shouted that he would "f--kin' shoot" Irizarry.
  • Dial quickly fired into the vehicle several times, shattering the driver's side window and striking Irizarry.
  • He fired at least one shot into the front windshield while retreating back toward the police cruiser.

What they're saying: "This is a crime against humanity," said Johnson, calling for prosecutors to bring criminal charges against Dial.

The other side: Philadelphia police did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Zoom in: Police said that two knives were discovered inside of the vehicle. One was a gift from Irizarry's father that he used to strip metal wiring in his job as a mechanic, Johnson said.

  • Irizarry was described by family as a fun-loving person who loved to work on cars and listen to music.
  • He moved to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico when he was 19 years old but didn't speak English.
  • He had a documented history of schizophrenia, Johnson said.

What we're watching: Irizarry's funeral services are set for Thursday, Johnson said.

  • Johnson expects to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and Dial in the near future.

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