PHILADELPHIA — As drizzle fell Tuesday evening, around 100 supporters of Eddie Irizarry gathered outside City Hall to protest a Philadelphia judge’s earlier decision to dismiss all charges — including murder — against former city Police Officer Mark Dial, who shot and killed Irizarry during a traffic stop in Kensington last month.
The protesters chanted “no good cops in a racist system” as the crowd grew. A short time later, they marched around Center City to decry Municipal Court Judge Wendy L. Pew’s decision. “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell,” the marchers proclaimed.
Irizarry’s father and namesake, Eddie Irizarry, his aunt Zoraida Garcia, and other family members joined the march just before the crowd reached the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center, where just hours earlier the judge had dismissed all charges against Dial.
In front of the Philadelphia criminal court, Maria Irizarry, Irizarry’s sister, thanked all those who came to support her brother and her family, vowing to continue the fight for justice and saying it took the judge a “second” to agree with Dial’s lawyers.
Irizarry’s father was angry when the judge issued the ruling, he said.
”It was a brutality. If it were one of her kids, what do you think she would’ve done?” he said in Spanish.
Irizarry’s father said he was tired of hearing his son characterized as a threat and a bad person.
”I don’t have kids that are delinquents,” he said.
He contested Pew and Dial’s lawyers agreeing that his son was perceived as a threat.
”How are you going to feel threatened if he didn’t raise the knife at any moment?”
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