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ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2018


Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

13 July 2018, 05:27 | Erica Roy

Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

An Illinois police officer has resigned after video showed him ignoring a woman's pleas for help while a man berated her for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt.

"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.

Trybus was later charged with assault and disorderly conduct. Those charges were upgraded to hate crime charges, according to NBC News, and he was arrested again on Thursday.

Irizarry said she was celebrating her 24th birthday at Caldwell Woods park when the man approached her and asked her why she was wearing the sleeveless Puerto Rico flag shirt.

Connor, who has been with the force since 2006, was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing Thursday.

Even Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló weighed in, saying on Twitter that he was "appalled", and that "a Puerto Rican woman was brutally harassed by a bigot while an officer did not interfere".

Puerto Rico is a USA territory, and its residents are American citizens.

"All people are welcome in the Forest Preserves of Cook County and no one should feel unsafe while visiting our preserves", the district said on its official account.


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

"The 10-year veteran officer resigned late Wednesday, according to Cook County Forest Preserve District officials, rather than fight to keep his badge over the encounter that has been recorded and viewed millions of times, drawing worldwide scorn for Connor's inaction", the outlet reported.

In the video, Trybus can be seen approaching the woman and pointing at her shirt as he berates her.

After Conner resigned, the general superintendent of Cook County Forest Preserve, Arnold Randall, apologized for the incident.

Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García had called for such charges against Trybus a day earlier. "Are you a United States citizen?" He was intoxicated at the time, the Forest Preserves of Cook County has said.

During the encounter, Irizarry asks Officer Connor to intervene as she feels "highly uncomfortable" as the 62-year-old continues to intimidate her.

Irizarry asks a park police officer to help, saying "I am renting this area and he's harassing me about the shirt that I'm wearing". In the background, a police officer is standing outside the park pavilion. "Then you should not be wearing that".

Preckwinkle called the video "completely unacceptable" and said she was "troubled" by the officer's response to the "terrible" incident. Puerto Rico is a USA commonwealth. The agency tweeted Monday that an investigation of the officer is ongoing.



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