Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

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

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

The Cook County Forest Preserves officer who was under investigation after he was caught on video standing by as a man harassed a woman for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag has resigned, officials said Wednesday.

"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", he said. Are you a citizen?' The video, posted on Facebook, has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.

"Officer, officer, I feel highly uncomfortable", Irizarry tells Connor, who does not appear to respond to her as he is addressed, and can be seen turning his back and walking toward his police auto.

The video shows the woman asking Connor to restrain the man who is bothering her.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called Trybus' behavior "abusive and offensive" and said Connor should have intervened.

She plans to interview all officers at the scene as well as Irizarry and said the video will be used in future training exercises by the Forest Preserves.

Trybus is facing a misdemeanor assault charge.

"We are further addressing aspects of this incident and General Superintendent Arnold Randall will have more details at a media availability tomorrow morning", the forest preserve said.

Irizarry, who was at the park with friends for a birthday party, can be heard on the video telling Trybus that she is indeed an American citizen. Trybus was later charged with disorderly conduct and assault. In the video, Irizarry is approached by a man, identified by authorities as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus, who tells her she should not be wearing the Puerto Rican flag shirt in the US, and asks "Are you a citizen?"


'The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity, ' Rosello continued in a separate tweet.

"Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable", she says. "I do not feel comfortable with him here, is there anything you can do?"

"As you can see the police are not even - he's not even grabbing him". It says all visitors should feel safe. The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that". At one stage he made what appeared to be a garbled threat that "You know what, I got some really really really nieces and nephews that'll go down on you".

"OK, OK", Ms Irizarry says, trying to placate him.

Quick aside and history lesson: Puerto Ricans are indeed USA citizens.

'People have just as much right to be here as you do, ' she can be heard telling him in the clip.

She said the incident went on much longer than the video showed, even after Trybus was in custody and placed in a squad vehicle.

District police Chief Kelvin Pope said Connor was "very remorseful" when he resigned on Wednesday, but that Connor considered it "an unfortunate incident" and felt he wasn't "given a fair shake" by all the publicity.

Almost half of Americans are unaware that Puerto Ricans are United States citizens, according to polling taken after the island was rocked by a hurricane last September.

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