What you need to know
- Philly police officer Mark Dial shot and killed Eddie Irizarry on Aug. 14 during a traffic stop in Kensington.
- Body cam footage shows PPD fatally shot Eddie Irizarry within five seconds of arriving on scene, disputing initial police reports.
- Irizarry’s killing has led to widespread condemnation, with advocates pushing for police accountability.
Protesters marched in Center City Tuesday, decrying a Philadelphia municipal judge’s ruling to dismiss all charges — including one for murder — against former city police officer Mark Dial in the killing of Eddie Irizarry Jr.
The crowd of several hundred gathered at City Hall before making their way to the Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice, chanting in unison, “No Justice, No Peace,” “Say His Name,” and carrying signs calling for Dial’s arrest.
Earlier Tuesday, Judge Wendy Pew dropped all of the charges against the former Philadelphia police officer after his legal team argued he acted in self-defense.
Outside the courthouse, Irizarry Jr.’s sister, Maria Irizarry, questioned how the judge came to that decision.
“It didn’t take her even a second for her to say, ‘Yes, I agree with you.’ She didn’t even let anybody else talk … The evidence, everything is there,” she said. “We’re going to keep fighting for my brother.”
Police say the 27-year-old Irizarry Jr. could be seen holding a knife near his right leg as Dial and his partner approached Irizarry’s vehicle during a traffic stop in Kensington on Aug. 14. Video camera footage shows Dial shooting at Irizarry through Irizarry Jr.’s rolled up window within five seconds of Dial exiting his police cruiser.
Initially, police said Irizarry Jr. exited his vehicle and “lunged” at officers, which was disproved by video evidence.
MOVE Legacy Director Mike Africa Jr. addressed not only the protesters but also the police force that was surrounding demonstrators.
“Killing Eddie the way they did — ain’t doing their job … Standing there, surrounding us as if we’re the criminals — that ain’t doing their job. These buildings, these streets that we’ve been protesting in front of all these years, they don’t need your protection,” Africa Jr. said. “Who needs your protection is people like Eddie.”
Tuesday afternoon, the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced it filed a motion to reinstate all charges against Dial. A hearing for that has been set for Oct. 25.
Irizarry Jr.’s cousin Aracelis Brown urged protesters to continue fighting to bring justice.
“That’s my baby cousin right there and he did not deserve what happened to him,” Brown said. “We’re gonna keep fighting and keep fighting, and that’s all that matters. We don’t give up.”
Irizarry Jr. was a member of the local Puerto Rican community who had moved to Philadelphia from Ponce about seven years ago, according to the Associated Press.
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