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Newly released video shows police shooting into vehicle at a traffic stop in an encounter that contradicts initial police narrative

<i>Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP</i><br/>
Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

By Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

(CNN) — An attorney representing the family of a 27-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer last Monday released new surveillance video of the fatal police encounter that contradicts the initial narrative of the incident as provided by police.

Police initially told reporters that officers gave the man multiple commands to drop a weapon while he was outside his vehicle. Two days later, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the shooting occurred while the man was inside the vehicle, citing body worn camera footage that “made it very clear what we initially reported was not actually what happened.”

Surveillance video shows encounter

In a birds-eye view of the police encounter, surveillance video provided by a local resident shows Eddie Irizarry pulling into a parking spot, running over orange traffic cones in the process, and parking before a police vehicle pulls up to the passenger side of his car a few seconds later in a narrow residential street.

Video shows an officer exiting the passenger side of the patrol vehicle and pulling out a firearm from his belt as he crosses the front of the patrol vehicle and heads toward Irizarry’s car yelling what sounds like, “Show us your hands!” and then “Show me your hands” two times.

Approximately five seconds elapse between the time that the officer gets out of his patrol car, runs over to the driver’s side of Irizarry’s vehicle, and fires his gun what appears to be six times with at least one shot striking Irizarry’s front windshield. While firing his weapon, the officer is heard shouting what sounds like, “Drop the knife!”

As the officer runs over toward Irizarry who’s seated in the driver’s seat, Irizarry is seen pulling up the driver’s side window before the officer shoots inside his vehicle.

The video shows the officer appearing to recoil and run back toward his patrol car as he’s shooting at Irizarry.

Both officers responding to the traffic stop then appear to try to get into Irizarry’s vehicle but the doors are locked. The officers are then able to open Irizarry’s car and then drag him out of the vehicle and place him into the patrol car.

Family waiting for body camera footage to be released

“The narrative that he was out (of) the car, lunging at police, didn’t really comport with what our eyes saw from the very beginning,” Irizarry family attorney Shaka Johnson told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “But, we like to trust our local government and so we figured we’d maybe wait until the body worn camera footage was released to reconcile what we saw versus what we heard.”

Johnson said that the City Solicitor’s Office had extended an invitation to Irizarry’s family to privately watch the body worn camera footage last Friday but then the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office rescinded that offer, citing an ongoing investigation.

The attorney said that he will turn over the surveillance footage of the incident to all law enforcement agencies investigating the fatal shooting.

So far the family hasn’t seen this footage.

Instead, the victim’s family and their attorney successfully canvassed the neighborhood asking for people to help and provide them with any surveillance footage, or doorbell camera footage that they had from the day and time of the incident.

“What about what you just saw could ever be confused as, ‘He got out of the car and lunged at police officers’? Not a single thing,” Johnson told reporters.

“I think as part of the investigation, a part of what we would like answered, is who gave that initial information to the public information officer?” Johnson said Tuesday.

Law enforcement has not reached out to Irizarry’s family to provide any update on the investigation or to provide them further details on the case, Johnson said.

Jane Roh, a spokesperson for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner disputed that claim, saying that the office has been in constant contact with Irizarry’s family through their attorney and is looking forward to meeting them in person.

The special investigations unit in the DA’s office is investigating the incident, saying in a statement Tuesday that “the DA’s Office intends to keep its sworn obligation to seek justice for all those involved in the fatal shooting of Mr. Irizarry, as well as for all those Philadelphians who are not directly involved but who care deeply about fairness, justice, and independence.”

In an interview with CNN on Friday, Irizarry’s aunt, Zoraida Garcia, said the family believes there may have been a language barrier between Irizarry and the police because he did not speak English well.

He had moved from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia seven years ago, she explained.

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