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Puerto Rican T-shirt video controversy results in officer's resignation

13 July 2018
Puerto Rican T-shirt video controversy results in officer's resignation

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.

"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 global scorn for Connor's inaction", the outlet reported.

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.

Trybus has a bail hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in Skokie.

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

Connor was relegated to desk duty more than a week after the incident occurred. The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American". Trybus asks in the video.

Irizarry filmed the video about a month ago, but it has gained recent traction and since been watched more than a 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 had previously be charged with misdemeanor assault for the incident.

"The world is not going to change the United States of America".

"(Conner's) personnel file will reflect that this officer did not resign in good standing, with a note indicating that he left the district with discipline pending", the park agency's general superintendent, Arnold Randall, said.

The video shows Trybus continuing to confront Irizarry and her friends for about 10 minutes before additional police officers arrive and eventually arrest him. She explains Irizarry has a permit, and she warns him he could be arrested "for not being compliant".

"And when you're drunk, you don't belong here", the officer tells Trybus.

In it Irizarry pleads for help as a man harasses her, saying her shirt is un-American.

There was also a comment at the end "Why don't you and your people go back where you came from". I was new and I was dressed somewhat casually because we were just returning from a Puerto Rican celebration and my daughter was carrying a Puerto Rican flag.

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

The video even got the attention of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello, who said he was "appalled, shocked, and disturbed by the officer's behavior".

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