Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

U.S. officer quits after harassment over Puerto Rico shirt

U.S. officer quits after harassment over Puerto Rico shirt

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was among those who condemned the video.

A man who can be seen in a video chastising a woman at a Chicago forest preserve for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it has been charged with committing a hate crime, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday. While Trybus shouts at her, points at her face and follows her around part of the park, Connor can be seen standing about 20 feet away with his hands against his chest.

Patrick Conner quit the police department of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, according to a statement from the department.

It started going off the rails when a man approached her asking her why she was wearing a sleeveless Puerto Rico flag shirt, which also had "Puerto Rico" written below the neckline. The video shows the officer appearing not to move any closer to the pair or do anything to actively end the situation. "We are further addressing aspects of this incident", a spokesperson for the Forest Preserves of Cook County said in a statement, adding the superintendent would address the matter to the media on Thursday.

Ms Irizarry asks a park police officer who has arrived for help, saying: "I am renting this area and he's harassing me about the shirt that I'm wearing". 'The world is not going to change the United States of America.

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Irizzary began to talk to her Facebook Live viewers, saying: 'As you can see the police are not even, he's not even grabbing him'.

The Forest Preserves confirmed they launched an investigation into the response of the officer, with Connor assigned to desk duty pending the outcome.

Timothy Trybus, 62, was eventually arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, but prosecutors are considering hate crime charges.

'Are you educated?' Trybus asks her in the clip.

"If the investigation confirms the officer did not take appropriate steps to ensure public safety, disciplinary action will be swift", Forest Preserves spokeswoman Stacina Stagner told ABC News via email earlier this week.

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Irizzary then tries to plead Connor again, saying: 'Officer, I paid for a permit for this area, I do not feel comfortable here, is there anything you can do?' 'I told him I felt uncomfortable multiple times and he did not do anything'.

And anyone who has eyeballs can see how police do not handle encounters with Black and brown people the same as with whites. The woman, Mia Irizarry, is heard appealing to the officer to help restrain the man, but the officer doesn't appear to engage until almost 10 minutes later, when other officers arrive.

What unfolds over the 30-minutes is a man physically and verbally intimidating a very polite and poised 24 year old American woman, while a uniformed police officer stands by and does nothing to intervene or help.

"You shouldn't be wearing that", he said, referring to a shirt that read Puerto Rico and displayed the flag. "People have just as much right to be here as you do, and when you're drunk you don't belong here". Puerto Rican residents have been American citizens since 1917 and have the right to vote in U.S. presidential primaries but not in presidential elections.

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