Puerto Rican T-shirt video controversy results in officer's resignation

Puerto Rican T-shirt video controversy results in officer's resignation

The man who harassed a woman at a Chicago-area park for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt in the USA has been hit with two felony hate crime charges.

He also faces separate charges of assault and disorderly conduct after a June 14 incident involving Mia Irizarry that was recorded on video. Officer Connor was caught on camera last month, seemingly standing by as another man scolded Mia Irizarry for wearing a Puerto Rico flag T-shirt. The recording, taken by the woman involved, shows a man, identified by the police as Timothy Trybus, demanding to know why she has a Puerto Rican flag shirt on and whether the woman, Mia Irizarry, is a US citizen.

"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", he tells her.

But the video makes clear that we all have to step up to defend the United States from this tide of bullying, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia, and stand up for what America is really all about.

In the video, Irizarry, who rented space in the park for a birthday party, is heard telling the man who is yelling at her and coming closer, to get away from her.

'Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable, can you please grab him, please?' she asked Connor again.

But the officer, Patrick Connor, turns his back and walks towards his patrol auto.

Instead of facing more heavy criticism and possible disciplinary action, Connor apparently chose to quit his job late Wednesday over the encounter that quickly went viral on social media.

Trybus, 62, was arrested Thursday by Cook County Forest Preserve District Police and is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Skokie courthouse.

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"After a review of the case, we approved felony hate crimes charges", said Robert Foley, spokesman for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, as reported by the Tribune. "I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times".

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was among those who condemned the video. "If you're an American, you wouldn't be wearing that".

Irizarry said she received an apology from the forest preserve shortly after she posted the video.

"You're not an American", Trybus tells Irizarry.

Connor, a 12-year veteran with the county, was placed on desk duty and stepped down on Wednesday.

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

In a statement announcing Connor's resignation, officials with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County said that they planned to further address "aspects of this incident" and that they would not provide additional details until Thursday.

Irizzary was wearing a shirt made to look like the Puerto Rico flag, with the words "Puerto Rico" written on the top.

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. "This is not the America we all believe in".

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