Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial, who was charged in the shooting death of driver Eddie Irizarry last month, has been taken back into custody following the revocation of his bail. The decision to revoke bail came after prosecutors challenged the constitutionality of Dial’s release. Dial had surrendered on September 8 and posted 10 percent of $500,000 bail. However, prosecutors argued that the Pennsylvania Constitution typically prohibits bail for offenses carrying a life term or if there is evidence the defendant poses a threat to the community.
Dial is facing charges of murder, voluntary manslaughter, official oppression, and four other counts. The 27-year-old officer, who has served on the force for five years, was suspended with intent to dismiss after officials said he refused to cooperate in the investigation.
Defense attorneys maintain that the shooting was justified, claiming that Dial believed Irizarry had a gun. The incident occurred on August 14 when officers spotted Irizarry’s car being driven erratically and followed it. Bodycam footage shows Dial firing six rounds at close range through the rolled-up driver’s side window about seven seconds after approaching the sedan. Irizarry was holding a knife in his right hand, by his right leg, before being shot.
The Philadelphia Police Department initially claimed that the officers made a traffic stop and shot a person outside the vehicle after he “lunged at” police with a knife. However, a review of the officers’ body-worn cameras revealed that this was not the case, leading to a retraction of the initial statement by outgoing Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.
During the hearing, defense attorney Brian McMonagle argued that the initial police affidavit of probable cause recommended a lead offense of voluntary manslaughter, not murder. McMonagle also cited a 2021 state Supreme Court case that established limited circumstances under which murder defendants could argue for bail.