Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

Jul 13, 2018, 05:26
Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

An Illinois police officer being investigated for his inaction as an intoxicated man berated a woman wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag has resigned, the Forest Preserves of Cook County said Wednesday.

Trybus could face up to five years in prison for each of the hate crime charges.

Mia Irizarry posted a video that went viral, capturing an ugly scene as she was trying to celebrate her 24th birthday peacefully in the Forest Preserves of Cook County in IL in June.

"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", Trybus later says in the video, moving closer to her.

Officer Patrick Connor was supposed to have a sit down with his bosses about the incident, but instead he quit on July 11, The Chicago-Sun Times reported.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello reacted to the video Monday on Twitter.

He added: "The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity".

"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.

"That officer did absolutely nothing - he did absolutely zero", Irizarry said in the video, which was streamed from her Facebook profile on June 14, but gained a wider audience this week. A 62 year old man who police have identified as Timothy Tybus verbally abused and harassed Ms. Irizarry as she was wearing a shirt that depicts the flag of our USA colony of Puerto Rico. Other officers eventually arrived and arrested the man.

Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García had called for hate crimes charges against Trybus.

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 USA citizen. These angry outbursts and attacks do not represent our values here at the Forest Preserve system and in Cook County, and are not representing who we are as a country.

The video also shows Irizarry ask a nearby officer, Connor, for help, but he does not appear to intervene. "Are you a citizen?" the man can be heard saying in a video recording of the incident posted on Facebook. "Then you should not be wearing that".

The female officer then interviews Irizzary, who tells her that the first officer on the scene stood "watching the whole thing happen". She asks the officer for help, saying the man is making her feel uncomfortable.

Preckwinkle called the video "completely unacceptable" and said she was "troubled" by the officer's response to the "terrible" incident.

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

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