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Man who harassed woman over Puerto Rico shirt charged with hate crime
13 July 2018, 05:27 | Devin Moran
Officer Who Didn’t Step In When Woman In Puerto Rico Shirt Was Harassed Resigns
A police officer who drew criticism for allegedly failing to intervene in a dispute between a man and a woman over the woman's Puerto Rico flag shirt has resigned, officials said Wednesday evening.
Mia Irizarry complained that a man at Caldwell Woods was questioning her citizenship and telling her she shouldn't be wearing the shirt, although Puerto Rico is a USA commonwealth.
"That officer did absolutely nothing, he did zero", Irizarry said during the video. "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.
Forest preserve officials said they are not going to sweep this under the rug and they plan to use this case and video as a learning tool going forward.
The Forest Preserves confirmed they launched an investigation into the response of the officer, with Connor assigned to desk duty pending the outcome.
Earlier this week, the parks department confirmed that Trybus was charged with simple assault and that the investigation into the incident was ongoing.
"All people are welcome in the Forest Preserves of Cook County and no one should feel unsafe while visiting our preserves".
"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", Trybus said in a video that Irizarry posted on Facebook.
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. "Are you a citizen?" The officer is seen walking away. "Officer, officer, I feel highly uncomfortable", repeatedly asking Officer Patrick Connor to do something about the incident.
The video shows Trybus continuing to confront Irizarry and her friends for about 10 minutes before additional police officers arrive and eventually arrest him.
Irizzary then tries to plead with policeman again, saying: 'Officer, I paid for a permit for this area, I do not feel comfortable here, is there anything you can do?' "You know that, right?"
"OK, OK", Ms Irizarry says, trying to placate him.
There was also a comment at the end "Why don't you and your people go back where you came from".
"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.
The appalling incident of June 14 and the inaction of one former member of the Forest Preserves Police should not diminish the greatness of the Preserves, nor dissuade people from enjoying our 70,000 acres of nature and beauty.
Irizarry can be heard explaining to the officer that 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.
The island of Puerto Rico is a United States territory.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was among those who condemned the video.
He said his agency would re-examine the diversity training for its officers and other employees.
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