All charges, including murder, reinstated against former Philly police officer in fatal shooting

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Murder charge reinstated against former Philly cop in fatal shooting
All charges, including murder, reinstated against former Philly police officer in fatal shooting

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A judge on Wednesday reinstated all charges, including murder, against former Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial.

Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Ransom ruled after a hearing that the facts of the case should be established at a trial.

Dial, who bowed his head after Judge Ransom issued her ruling from the bench, was taken into custody without bail.

Dial was charged with murder, manslaughter, official oppression and four other counts in the Aug. 14 shooting death of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry during a traffic stop. Defense lawyers argued the officer could have feared for his life because he thought Irizarry had a gun, and a municipal court judge dismissed the case last month for lack of evidence.

RELATED: Philadelphia officer charged with murder in shooting death of Eddie Irizarry; bodycam video released

The Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a man in the city's Kensington section last week is expected to be terminated, Action News has learned.

On Wednesday, Defense Attorney Brian McMonagle said he might seek to have the trial moved out of Philadelphia, citing various comments by the mayor and other public officials as evidence Dial might not be able to get a fair trial in the city.

"We have to now take this ruling and deal with it. The next steps are getting this case moved where law and order matters," McMonagle said.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said it had no further comment at this time.

"We will be trying this case in a Philadelphia courtroom, not in the media," a statement reads.

For Irizarry's family, the news of the charges being reinstated comes as a sigh of relief.

"We finally got the answer we needed this is just one step, a big we are very thankful," said Irizarry's aunt Ana Cintron.

Last month, Judge Wendy Pew dismissed the murder count and related offenses against Dial.

The district attorney refiled all charges including murder, arguing they met the burden of proof and that all facts have to be litigated at trial.

The defense argued murder charges require the presence of malice and that there was not enough proof that Dial acted maliciously.

RELATED: Fallout after charges dropped in Eddie Irizarry shooting

Video released by the family of Eddie Irizarry shows him being shot by an officer on August 14, 2023. (VIEWER DISRECTION ADVISED).

Dial and his partner have said they followed Irizarry's car after it sped past them in a bike lane and rounded a corner, going the wrong way on a residential street. Police body camera footage showed Dial firing a total of six rounds about seven seconds after getting out of a police SUV and walking over to the sedan. The footage also showed Irizarry holding a knife near his right leg.

Dial's partner, Officer Michael Morris, previously testified that he saw the driver holding a knife with a black metal handle that could have looked like a gun.

At that earlier hearing, McMonagle had argued Dial was "firing while trying to take cover" in the belief the driver was armed with a gun. He said the charges should never have been filed by District Attorney Larry Krasner, a Democrat and longtime civil rights lawyer who has clashed with police since taking office in 2018.

RELATED:Philadelphia officer to be terminated following fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry

Eddie Irizarry's family reacts to arrest of Ofc. Mark Dial

Police initially claimed Dial shot Irizarry outside the vehicle after he "lunged at" police with a knife, but were forced to backtrack after then-Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said a review of the officers' body-worn cameras "made it very clear that what we initially reported was not actually what happened."

Dial, a five-year member of the force, was suspended after officials said he refused to cooperate with investigators. Police said Dial was fired Sept. 18.

After the charges were initially dismissed on Sept. 27, a wave of looting erupted in parts of the city, with crowed of people carrying out merchandise. Apple, Lululemon and Foot Locker stores were among those targeted in the Center City business corridor.

Extra police officers blanket Philadelphia after looters wreak havoc on city

Thieves targeted other parts of the city as well, ransacking pharmacies, a hair salon, a cellphone store and at least 18 state-run liquor outlets, resulting in the closure of all 48 stores in the city and one in a neighboring suburb.

Scores of people have since been charged with crimes such as burglary, theft, conspiracy and riot in the mayhem, which authorities said was fueled by social media. Those doing the ransacking were not affiliated with earlier protests, Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford has said, calling those responsible "a bunch of criminal opportunists."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.