Police in Philadelphia have changed their initial account of a fatal shooting by an officer, admitting that the person was shot inside the car rather than outside. They also retracted their statement that the individual fled a traffic stop and later lunged at police with a knife. The Police Commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, stated that video evidence from body cameras contradicted their original report. Two investigations are currently underway to determine whether the officers followed the law and department policies. The identity of the deceased has been confirmed as Eddie Irizarry. shooting-driver-in-philly.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Associated Press reported
The Philadelphia Police Department has revised its initial account of a fatal shooting by one of its officers, admitting that the victim was shot inside the car rather than outside. The department also retracted its previous statement that the individual had fled a traffic stop and later “lunged at” the officers with a knife. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw acknowledged the discrepancy, stating that video footage from the officers’ body cameras clearly contradicted the initial report. Outlaw expressed understanding towards the hurt and confusion experienced by the family and community members when details of the investigation change, particularly in a public manner. The officers involved have not yet been identified, and the body camera footage is being treated as evidence in an ongoing investigation led by the district attorney’s office. The deceased individual has been identified as Eddie Irizarry, a 27-year-old resident of North Philadelphia. Two separate investigations are currently underway—one by the district attorney’s office to determine if the officers followed the law, and another by internal affairs to assess whether they adhered to department policies and procedures. The shooting occurred when officers spotted a car being driven recklessly, leading them to pursue the vehicle. The driver eventually turned the wrong way down a one-way street before being shot by the officer. Initially, the police claimed that the driver had fled and confronted them with a knife, but they later clarified that the driver had been sitting inside the car and was shot after turning towards the officer. The driver sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to the hospital. The police explained that their original briefing was based on information that the driver was outside the car, but subsequent review of the bodycam footage revealed otherwise. Christine Coulter, the chief of detectives, mentioned that the report of the shooting taking place outside the vehicle was relayed through the police radio, and efforts are being made to identify the source. The officer who fired the shots has not yet been interviewed as per department policy, which allows officers 72 hours before being questioned after a shooting incident. The police revised their account to state that two knives were found inside the vehicle, without specifying if the driver was holding a weapon or was instructed to drop it. One of the knives appeared to be a kitchen-style knife, while the other was a serrated folding knife. Commissioner Outlaw acknowledged that the evolving narratives surrounding the incident would pose a challenge in rebuilding trust with the community and would likely raise further questions. However, she emphasized the need to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, which involves the district attorney’s office. Outlaw expressed her hope that the community would recognize the department’s genuine effort to share information as it becomes available..