A judge dropped all charges — including murder — against Mark Dial, a Philadelphia police officer who fatally shot motorist Eddie Irizarry last month.
Philadelphia Municipal Judge Wendy Pew watched footage of the fatal shooting of the 27-year-old before ruling to dismiss all charges against Mr Dial, according to Fox 29.
Mr Dial’s defence team had argued that the officer was acting in self-defence, echoing the officer’s initial claims that Irizarry “lunged” at him outside of the car. Irizarry was shot dead after he was pulled over for allegedly driving his Toyota Corolla erratically on 14 August.
Mr Dial’s partner, Officer Michael Morris, testified on Tuesday that the two officers had been following Irizarry, who had been driving erratically and down a one-way street in the wrong direction. Mr Morris said the 27-year-old was wielding a knife and raised his hand when the pair approached him, the outlet reported.
“I screamed that he had a knife,” Mr Morris testified. He also noted that the knife had a black metal handle.
Mr Dial had previously been facing charges that included voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and simple assault.
Earlier this month, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released unedited bodycam footage of the “extremely violent” fatal shooting at the request of Irizarry’s family which showed Mr Dial fire six shots through his window in close range.
After the footage was released, the officer walked back on his initials claims that the 27-year-old had “lunged” at him.
Mr Dial was fired last month by the Philadelphia Police Department.