Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Cop Resigns In Puerto Rico Shirt Dispute

Cop Resigns In Puerto Rico Shirt Dispute

The police officer who resigned Wednesday after refusing to help a woman who was being verbally harassed for wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rican flag on it believes that he hasn't gotten a "fair shake" and took the appropriate action at the time.

"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", the man, identified as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus shouts. Trybus, who appears to be intoxicated, then steps much closer to Irizarry and demands of her, "Are you a citizen?"

"That officer did absolutely nothing - he did absolutely zero", Ms Irizarry said in her 36-minute long Facebook live broadcast.

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"Officer, officer, I feel highly uncomfortable", repeatedly asking Officer Patrick Connor to do something about the incident.

In the part of the video that went viral, Connor's voice is never heard and he apparently does nothing.

County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. said at a news conference that Officer Patrick Connor "embarrassed many of our law enforcement officers and tarnished the whole department with his failure to act".

Forest Preserves Superintendent Arnold Randall said he "vehemently disagreed" with Connor that he handled the situation properly.

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Dennis White, chief attorney for the Forest Preserves Police District, said it wass possible the charges against Trybus could be elevated to the level of hate crimes but that no final decision had been made in that rehard. At one point, Irizarry's brother approached Connor while the deputy stood next to Trybus, and Connor could be clearly heard saying, "Hey don't you dare walk over here, okay?"

Officials on Tuesday said that Conner was the officer being investigated. The video's caption proclaimed that it captured: "A man [who] harassed a woman wearing a Puerto Rico shirt because she 'should not be wearing that in the United States of America'". The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

"A charge for simple assault or disorderly conduct is not sufficient", García said.

"As you can see the police are not even - he's not even grabbing him. You know that right?"

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.

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

'I'm an American citizen.I'm not trying to change anyone, I just came here for a birthday party, ' Irizzary tells him as he gets in her face.

President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 signed into law the Jones-Shafroth Act, granting US citizenship to residents of Puerto Rico. The island is a US commonwealth, and Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

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