PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge has reinstated all charges, including a murder count, against a former police officer who shot and killed a driver through a rolled-up car window — a confrontation police initially described as the officer shooting the driver after he lunged at him with a knife outside the car.
Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Ransom ruled Wednesday after a hearing that the facts of the case should be established at a trial.
Former officer Mark 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.
Prosecutors quickly appealed, asking for the charges to be reinstated. Irizarry’s family has said Dial took an innocent life and should spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Dial, who bowed his head after Judge Ransom issued her ruling from the bench, was taken into custody without bail.
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.”