Woman harassed for wearing Puerto Rican shirt speaks out
Woman harassed for wearing Puerto Rican shirt speaks out
Officer Who Didn’t Step In When Woman In Puerto Rico Shirt Was Harassed Resigns
14 July, 2018, 06:40
A Chicago man charged with a felony hate crime after a video went viral showing him scolding a woman for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a Puerto Rican flag will return to court on August 1 after his release on bond, authorities said on Friday.
A video went viral of 24-year-old Mia Irizarry being harassed at a park in Cook County, Illinois earlier this week.
"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.
"Mr. Trybus asked me twice if the shirt I was wearing is a Texas state flag", Irizarry said, speaking to reporters in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.
The Cook County Forest Preserve District police officer, Patrick Connor, resigned Wednesday, and the investigation into the incident continues, the agency said.
Prosecutors filed the two Class 3 felony hate crime charges against Timothy G. Trybus, Cook County State's Attorney's Office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. When the new officers arrived, they arrested Trybus on charges of misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. 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". "Are you a United States citizen?" he screamed, referring to the shirt as "un-American". "Then you should not be wearing that", he continued. "Can you please grab him?"
The support and outrage from both politicians and the general public have helped Mia get the justice she deserves.
"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. The video shows him approaching her, asking why she is wearing a v-neck Puerto Rican flag shirt with the words "Puerto Rico" written below the neckline. "We all need to stand up to this behavior".
In the wake of the incident, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle offered her apology to the woman and took the unusual step of calling Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico.
The Forest Preserves issued its own apology for what happened.
Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García called for a hate crime charge beforehand, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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