Police officer harasses woman for wearing Puerto Rican flag shirt

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2018

An investigation is underway after a woman who was harassed at an IL park for wearing a shirt featuring the Puerto Rico flag said a police officer ignored her requests for help.

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 us commonwealth. The bigot is so deeply ignorant that he didn't know Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County tweeted in response to the incident on Monday, that it was aware of the incident that occurred on June 14, and added that everyone is welcome in its preserves and that no one should feel unsafe.

"Why are you wearing that?" the man points to Irizarry in Facebook Live footage she captured, while repeatedly demanding to know her citizenship status. "Are you a United States citizen?" the man also reportedly asked. "Now that I see what's going on, at no time was he going to attack you, he's just a big mouth", Connor says. He gets closer to her and asks "Are you a citizen? He basically got in my face, damn near nearly touched me", Irizarry says in the video.

The woman asks an officer for help and asks him to restrain Trybus.

The officer continued to abuse Irizzary in the video she recorded, despite the woman making it clear that she was feeling uncomfortable and violated. She said the group politely complied, but her Puerto Rico shirt appeared to act as a trigger Trybus.

The female officer then speaks with Irizarry who gives her version of the incident and the officer explains that they were called to the area after a report that a man was choking a woman.

The officer in the video, whose name has not been released, has been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.

Dennis White, chief attorney for the forest preserves, said it was possible charges against Trybus "could be updated" as a hate crime, and their office was in contact with the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted several times Monday night about the video, calling the incident "undignified". "I am appalled, shocked & disturbed by the officer's behavior", he said. She calls for his help - even alerting him that she feels "highly uncomfortable" - but he does nothing.

Irizzary had paid for a permit to hold a birthday party at Caldwell Woods when the man - who has been identified as Timothy Trybus - first approached her. "Can you please grab him?" to which he turns his head and walks in the opposite direction.

Irizarry originally posted a video of the harassment to Facebook, which has since been taken down.

A second officer then arrived and confronted the intoxicated man.

"If you're drunk, you don't belong here", she is heard telling the man.

"We've seen the video and it is very disturbing", Figel said.

Irizzary was wearing a shirt made to look like the Puerto Rico flag, with the words "Puerto Rico" written on the top. We are proud United States citizens.

Other reports by iNewsToday