An Illinois man accused of harassing a woman for wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt at a Chicago-area park was charged Thursday with state hate crimes, authorities said. He had previously be charged with misdemeanor assault for the incident.
During the clip, which went on to be viewed almost two million times, Trybus yells at Irizarry that she "should not be wearing that in the United States of America" in reference to her Puerto Rican flag shirt, as well as repeatedly asking if she is an American citizen.
Puerto Rico is a US territory and its residents are USA citizens, yet Trybus, who is white, told Irizarry that "if you're an American citizen, you should not be wearing that". "The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity". As Trybus continues to harass her, other officers arrive and a female police officer finally steps in on behalf of Irizarry. The forest preserve officer seen in the background of the video and not coming to her aid resigned Wednesday.
The agency said that Officer Patrick Conner resigned late Tuesday.
Trybus, 62, was arrested Thursday by Cook County Forest Preserve District Police and is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Skokie courthouse.
"After a review of the case, we approved felony hate crimes charges", said Robert Foley, spokesman for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. 'I told him I felt uncomfortable multiple times and he did not do anything'.
The flag of Puerto Rico flies outside the island's Capitol building in San Juan, July 29, 2015. If you were American, you wouldn't wear that.
Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García had called for such charges against Trybus a day earlier. She posted the video to Facebook.
The female officer then interviewed Irizzary, who told her that the first officer on the scene stood "watching the whole thing happen". The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American".
And anyone who has eyeballs can see how police do not handle encounters with Black and brown people the same as with whites.
Garcia posted a statement in which he said, "The Puerto Rican community deserves an apology and the young woman deserves justice from the Cook County Forest Preserve and the Cook County Justice System". The footage showed the officer seemingly ignoring the woman's requests for his help as she explains that the man is harassing her and that she has a permit to be in the public space.
Preckwinkle called the video "completely unacceptable" and said she was "troubled" by the officer's response to the "terrible" incident.
Connor was initially placed on desk duty as the investigation got underway.
Irizzary was wearing a shirt made to look like the Puerto Rico flag, with the words "Puerto Rico" written on the top.
'People have just as much right to be here as you do, ' she can be heard telling him in the clip. Puerto Rican residents have been American citizens since 1917 and have the right to vote in USA presidential primaries but not in presidential elections.