Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Puerto Rico rant victim calls cop who stood by a ‘coward’

Puerto Rico rant victim calls cop who stood by a ‘coward’

An allegedly intoxicated man, whose harassment of a woman wearing a Puerto Rico flag shirt at a Chicago park last month was captured on video, has been charged with felony hate crime counts, a spokesperson for the Cook County prosecutor's office said.

He also faces separate charges of assault and disorderly conduct after a June 14 incident involving Mia Irizarry that was recorded on video.

Patrick Conner, a police officer at the forest preserve, was seen standing in the background of the video as Irizarry called to him for help while Trybus was berating her.

Trybus scolded her, saying: "You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", and questioned her about whether she was an American citizen.

Conner's inaction sparked intense criticism, prompting him to resign on Thursday, Arnold Randall, a Forest Preserve District of Cook County official said on Thursday.

Trybus has since been charged with two counts of felony hate crime.

Trybus appeared in court Friday on charges of a hate crime, assault and disorderly conduct.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico responded to the incident on Twitter. State Senator Omar Aquino urged Irizarry to sue the officer, reminding her that he pushed through legislation that allows her to "sue someone for a hate crime". As we said yesterday, if a white woman said she was being harassed by a Black or Latin person, the police would have reacted with a quickness. "Are you a United States citizen?" he screamed, referring to the shirt as "un-American".

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"Officer, officer? I feel highly uncomfortable".

"It was extremely surreal to think that someone whose job is to protect and serve could just completely walk away..." she said at a park in a Chicago neighborhood with a large Puerto Rican population, in her first public comments about the incident. "Can you please get away from me?"

"We don't know what was happening outside the video; we don't know what was going on inside his (Connor's) head at the time", the attorney, Tamara Cummings, said Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago's 4th District called the incident a "racist, ugly, vicious attack", according to the Chicago Tribune. "We all need to stand up to this behavior".

Cook County Commission President Toni Preckwinkle called Gov. Rossello and offered him her personal apology.

More officers arrived and arrested the man.

Meanwhile, the Forest Preserves issued its own apology for what happened.

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