Philadelphia Cop Charged in Fatal Shooting of Eddie Irizarry After Bodycam Footage Reveals Department Falsely Claimed Suspect Charged at Officer

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Eddie Irizarry
Eddie Irizarry (left) and stills from the bodycam footage released by the Philadelphia Police Department. YouTube

A Philadelphia police officer has been charged with murder after footage showed him fatally shooting a 27-year-old motorist in his car last month.

Eddie Irizarry was killed while sitting in the driver's seat of his vehicle holding a knife, say prosecutors.

Philadelphia Police Initially Said Irizarry Lunged at Police While Holding a Knife

Body camera video of the incident shows two officers pulling over Mr Irizarry for a driving infraction, before one of them fires multiple shots at him. The officer, Mark Dial, 27, turned himself in to police on Friday morning.

Two days after the 14 August shooting, police changed their initial statement on the shooting. They originally said Irizarry had lunged at police from outside his vehicle while holding a knife.

Body Camera Footage Shows Irizarry Inside His Vehicle With Windows Rolled Up When Shot

But body camera footage released by Philadelphia prosecutors on Friday clearly shows Irizarry was sitting in the driver's seat of the vehicle when the officer opened fire.

Police said investigators are working to determine how the false account of the incident emerged. On Friday, a lawyer for Dial said his client had opened fire because he thought he saw Irizarry holding a gun.

"Fearing that he was going to be the next police officer killed in the streets of Philadelphia, he fired," attorney Brian McMonagle said. Prosecutors said Mr Irizarry was holding "a small, open folding knife against his thigh", and that his window was rolled up.

'I Will F---ing Shoot You'

Mr Irizarry had parked his Toyota Corolla on a road in Kensington, a neighbourhood of Philadelphia, after police said they stopped him for turning on the street in the wrong direction. It was midday.

Dial is seen exiting the police cruiser before shouting at Irizarry to "show your hands" and adding "I will F-ing shoot you." He then fires multiple shots at Irizarry as he sat in the driver's seat. Irizarry's family, who intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and Dial, were shown the videos at the DA's office last week.

After the shots were fired, you can hear Dial's partner saying "Mark, hold on. Mark, stop." Bodycam footage shows Dial holding a gun at Irizarry as he lay still in the driver's seat. The partner tells Dial to move the police vehicle.

Then the video shows the officers pulling a bloody Irizarry out of the Toyota and loading him into the backseat of a marked police vehicle. Dial then gets in and drives away to a hospital.

Dial Refused to Co-operate with the Investigation

Dial, who has been an officer for five years, was suspended for 30 days after the incident, accused of insubordination. According to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, the officer refused to co-operate with an investigation into the shooting.

Dial was arraigned on Friday afternoon and released on $500,000. He is due to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on 26 September.