Massive looting in Philadelphia after judge dismisses charges against police officer over shooting

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office refiled charges against the officer after the judge dismissed them.

Published: September 27, 2023 8:32am

Widespread looting wracked Philadelphia into early Wednesday morning after a judge dismissed charges against a former police officer in the fatal shooting of a citizen, and prosecutors have since refiled the charges.

The looting began Tuesday evening shortly after demonstrations concluded against the dismissal of all charges against former Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial in the Aug. 14 fatal shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry, officials said. 

"This had nothing to do with the protests," Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford said, according to CNN. "What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation."

Officers arrested up to 20 people after stores were looted Tuesday night into early Wednesday and at least two firearms were recovered during the arrests, Stanford said, according to a local Fox affiliate.

As many as 100 people, including many juveniles, gathered in Center City to participate in the looting. Videos, which have not been confirmed independently by Just the News, show people looting several stores including Apple, Lululemon and Foot Locker. 

Municipal Judge Wendy Pew dismissed the charges after Dial's attorneys argued that Irizarry, who was in his car with a knife at the time of the incident, was shot in self-defense because Dial thought the knife handle looked like a gun, also according to CNN.

Dial's defense attorneys even said evidence presented by prosecutors supported their case. However, prosecutors said Irizarry was armed with a small folding knife that was near his thigh and did not pose a threat to officers.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office refiled charges against Dial on Tuesday. The officer faces seven charges, including assault, murder, voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

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