The police officer responsible for the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry during a recent traffic stop now faces murder charges, as announced by the Philadelphia district attorney on Friday. This development followed the release of body camera footage, revealing a profoundly tumultuous encounter. In the unedited video, Officer Mark Dyer discharged his firearm into Irizarry’s vehicle through the tightly shut driver’s side window, a mere five seconds after stepping out of his patrol car.
Just moments before the harrowing exchange of gunfire, an unfamiliar voice from outside the vehicle menacingly declared, “I intend to forcefully discharge my weapon upon you!” The footage laid bare a grievously wounded and unresponsive Irizarry, who was subsequently extracted from the vehicle by the police.
An officer was then expeditiously ushered into the rear compartment of a police cruiser and promptly transported to a medical facility. District Attorney Larry Krasner divulged that Irizarry’s family had already been privy to the video footage and had petitioned for its unreserved dissemination.
Krasner underscored the significance of these body-worn camera recordings as prospective evidentiary material for forthcoming legal proceedings, most notably during the preliminary hearing and ensuing trial. He emphasized that these visual records inherently carry a substantial weight in this case.
Officer Dyer, who voluntarily surrendered himself on Friday morning, now faces an array of charges, including manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and official oppression. At his initial arraignment, Dyer’s bail was set at an imposing $500,000, an amount to which he did not offer any objection. Subsequently, he posted bond, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for September 26, as documented in court records.
In response to these charges, defense attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. asserted their unequivocal intent to vigorously defend Officer Dyer. He expressed confidence that, notwithstanding any portrayal by the media, the factual account would unequivocally establish that Officer Mark Dyer acted within the bounds of the law when he discharged his weapon, motivated by a genuine fear for his own life. Brian McMonagle, another member of Dyer’s legal counsel, echoed this sentiment and emphasized that the video evidence in their possession clearly attests to Dyer’s actions, as he disembarked from his vehicle, issued commands to Irizarry, and subsequently perceived the sound of a gunshot.
However, when pressed for comment, District Attorney Krasner refrained from confirming whether the audio recording contained any indications of an officer asserting that Irizarry had brandished a firearm. It was disclosed that just before the shooting, Irizarry was found holding an open pocket knife against his thigh, and he proceeded to elevate the driver’s side window.
Prosecutors maintained that Dyer’s bullets not only shattered the driver’s side window but also struck Irizarry multiple times. Krasner unflinchingly remarked, “When we assert that firing six rounds into a critical part of an individual’s anatomy is unequivocally supported by the law and corroborated by other forms of evidence, it becomes glaringly apparent that all the individuals involved in this matter must be held accountable.”