Monday, 23 July, 2018

Police officer resigns ahead of hearing on Puerto Rico shirt incident

A Chicago man is accused of harassing a woman wearing a shirt of the Puerto Rican flag in a Cook County Forest Preserve after a viral video showed the confrontation. A forest preserve police officer is seen only in the background of a video above of Officer resigns after dispute over Puerto Rican shirt
Ellis Copeland | 13 July, 2018, 05:29

The Cook County Forest Preserve Police Officer that seemingly stood by while a woman was berated resigned Wednesday night, days after the video sparked outrage around the world.

But he said the officer considered it "an unfortunate incident" and felt he was not "given a fair shake".

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

"You shouldn't be wearing that", he said, referring to a shirt that read Puerto Rico and displayed the flag.

As for Trybus, he was released on bond and has a court appearance scheduled on August 1.

Connor, the officer, took a passive approach despite the fact that Irizarry asked him politely, and several times, to try to defuse the situation.

The Forest Preserves confirmed they launched an investigation into the response of the officer, with Connor assigned to desk duty pending the outcome. "You know that right?" says the man, who appears to be intoxicated.

"You're not an American", Trybus screamed at Irizarry. As of Thursday morning, the video had be seen 1.5 million times.

"We might start with the fine example presented by Mia Irizarry and her family, who handled this ugly incident with great composure, never stooping to the level of the man who attacked her", he said in a written statement.

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Trybus, who was filmed repeatedly berating a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico T-shirt despite her pleas for him to leave her alone, was originally charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

A second officer eventually arrives to speak to Trybus. "You should be wearing United States of America flag", he said.

"The officer should have stepped in, and he should have done something", Forest Preserves Chief of Police Kelvin Pope said at a news conference Tuesday.

"You are not going to change us, you know that, right?"

Irizarry can be heard explaining to the officer the incident began when they had asked the group the man was in if they could move as they had a permit for the area. Officer Connor's actions came under intense fire based on the video.

Video of the June 14 incident shows the officer didn't respond.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth with its own constitution rather than a state.

'We will be looking into this incident as our offices in DC are in contact with local and state authorities, demanding that this officer be expelled from the police force, ' Rosello tweeted on Tuesday.

The incident was condemned by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, who said he was "appalled, shocked and disturbed" by the officer's behavior. Puerto Rican residents have been American citizens since 1917 and have the right to vote in United States presidential primaries but not in presidential elections.

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