Authorities placed an IL park officer on desk duty Monday night after video surfaced of him standing idly by as a man harassed a woman wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag.
On several occasions she called out to the officer who was first on the scene, telling him how uncomfortable she was with the man harassing her.
On Monday, Forest Preserves of Cook County tweeted that it was aware of the June 14 incident and video. Clad in a sleeveless Puerto Rico flag tee and shorts, she was ready for a day of fun at the Forest Preserves of Cook County in IL.
Mia Irizarry says she was trying to celebrate her 24th birthday last month when the man approached her asking her why she was wearing the sleeveless Puerto Rico flag shirt, which also had "Puerto Rico" written below the V neckline. "You should not be wearing that", he is heard saying as he repeatedly confronts her. 'Why are you wearing that?'
The man continues to yell as the Irizarry repeatedly asks the officer to intervene.
The U.S. acquired Puerto Rico as a territory in 1899. "You're not gonna change us, you know that?" he says, insinuating that she is an interloper. No, the world is not going to change the United States of America.
"Are you a citizen?" Puerto Rico is a us commonwealth.
As he gets closer to her, he tells her that "this is America". I do not feel comfortable with him here, is there anything you can do? Like, this guy's just walking up to me. Trybus resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".
Irizarry is shown in the video wearing a sleeveless shirt that is made to look like the Puerto Rican flag, and has the name of the US territory printed on it.
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"You don't come here harassing people", the officer says. "My point is, why are you wearing that?" he said.
More officers then arrive at the scene and a female cop sits Trybus down and threatens to charge him. "People have just as much right to be here as you and when you're drunk, you don't belong here". "The intoxicated individual involved in the incident was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct".
O'Connor has been assigned to desk duty while his actions are investigated.
Mia Irizarry posted a video of the June 14 incident on Facebook and showed that she was wearing a shirt that looked like the Puerto Rican flag.
"We will be looking into this incident as our offices in DC are in contact with local and state authorities, demanding that this officer be expelled from the police force", Rossello said. "He failed to de-escalate the situation and therefore did not ensure a citizen's safety".
Cook County Board Chairman Toni Preckwinkle apologized to the woman via Twitter.
Irizarry can be heard saying that Puerto Rico is part of the United States and the man approaches her multiple times. We can not allow those who do not understand America's greatness to terrorize people due to their background. "Whether they are racists at a park, Cook County employees who do nothing, or Presidents who toss paper towels at people and denigrate Latinos w/ every Tweet, this is not the America we want to become & standing up to hate & bigotry must start at home".
Preckwinkle called the video "completely unacceptable" and said she was "troubled" by the officer's response to the "terrible" incident.
Irizarry recorded the encounter on her phone, saying she felt threatened, and posted the video to Facebook.