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Judge dismisses charges for officer who killed Eddie Irizarry

A municipal judge yesterday dismissed all charges including murder against fired Philly police officer Mark Dial, who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry, on grounds that the officer could have feared for his life because he thought Irizarry had a gun. Prosecutors immediately said they plan to appeal and refile charges. 

Police initially said Irizarry had lunged at officers with a knife, then changed the explanation for the fatal shooting after body camera footage showed it happened while Irizarry was still inside his car with windows rolled up.

Following the news of the judge’s decision, Councilmember Quetcy Lozada issued a statement calling it “a grave injustice.” About a hundred supporters marched in protest from City Hall with members of Irizarry’s family. Separately, groups of teens used the protest as an excuse to storm some Center City retail outlets.

A sculpture by artist Donald Lipski made of 1,400 Philadelphia police badges in the lobby of the Philadelphia Public Safety Building. (Erin Blewett for Billy Penn)

Phillies clinch a playoff spot with walk-off win

It took until the 10th inning, but a hit by Johan Rojas brought in the tie-breaker run and sent the Phillies into a celebration frenzy. With the walk-off win, they’ve officially clinched a spot in this year’s MLB playoffs. As champagne flew and speakers blared team anthem “Dancing On My Own,” it was easy to forget the season’s troubled start, writes Hittin’ Season’s John Stolnis.

The Phils have home-field advantage for the three-game wild card series, which starts next Tuesday night. Welcome back to Red October.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper celebrates after winning a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates to clinch a wild-card playoff spot, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Pittsburgh-area Democrat Blaine Forkner plans to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in next year’s primary. The engineer’s progressive emphasizes universal healthcare, gun ownership reform, and free college tuition. [PennLive] 

• State lawmakers are considering legislation to restrict deceptive ticket sales practices like what they say happened with Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Critics say the bills may actually reinforce Ticketmaster’s monopoly. [Spotlight PA/BP 2022] 

• Temple appointed Chancellor Dick Englert interim president following the sudden passing of JoAnne Epps last week. It’s Englert’s third time stepping in while a search for a permanent replacement plays out. [WHYY] 

• Joyce Abbott, the veteran Philadelphia teacher who’s the namesake for Quinta Brunson’s hit comedy show, now has a street named after her, the 1900 block of 59th. [6ABC] 

• Attic Brewing in Germantown (where we hosted a great BP Quizzo night) snagged two medals at the Great American Beer Festival. One was a collab with Two Locals, the city’s first Black-owned brewery, opening soon in West Philadelphia. [BP/Instagram/uCity Square]

Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Circle, from above. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting.

• Mayoral candidates Cherelle Parker and David Oh have so far agreed to just one debate, and community leaders worry they won’t hear details on their plans to address the city’s shooting crisis. [Trace]

• Seven years after her son’s murder, still unsolved, a Philadelphia mother is guiding others through grief. [WHYY]

• Another “summit” on gun violence solutions is happening Thursday, with business, government, and law enforcement leaders convened by Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr. [Tribune$]

• In a new “Save Our Streets” video report, Fox29’s Bill Anderson speaks with survivors of gun violence to better understand the aftermath and trauma. [Fox 29]

By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 26: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 31 the week prior. [PCGVR]
  • 1,320: Shooting victims this year so far, down 25% vs. this time last year. [PCGVR]
  • 321: Year-to-date homicides, down 19% vs. last year’s pace; up 31.5% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]


Mayor Kenney joins the Office of People with Disabilities in City Hall to unveil an interactive map representing where people living with disabilities live throughout Philadelphia (1 p.m.). The tool is already being used by city departments to implement more accessible practices and policies, per Kenney’s office.

Evening brings Kenney to Taller Puertorriqueño for La Guagua 47’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and its new lifelong learning initiative “Street Knowledge” (6:15 p.m.).


🥟 It’s more than a restaurant week at the South Street Smorgasbord, featuring deals on snacks in addition to pre-fixe lunch and dinner options. (Daily through Sunday, Oct. 1) 

🚶🏼‍♀️Step out to fight lung cancer at the 13th annual GO2 Philadelphia 5K Walk/Run, at the Philadelphia Zoo, where participants get free entry all day. In-person or virtual. (6:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30) 

😃 Germantown brings the fun at the Community of Joy Festival with a bike/scooter/trike parade, tours of G-Town Radio, hula hooping, ice cream, and more. (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30) 

🐾 Tattoos, food trucks, a graffiti wall, live music, beer and more await at Jawnaroo, and all for a good cause, supporting PAWS. Tickets are $23. (12 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30) 

Catch up on the previous week

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