Mia Irizarry, who posted incident on Facebook Live, feared for her safety and demands officer be ‘held accountable’
A woman who was harangued by a man for wearing a Puerto Rico flag shirt has said she feared for her safety and is unhappy a nearby police officer who ignored her pleas for help was able to resign without facing punishment.
Mia Irizarry captured the incident, which occurred on 14 June at Caldwell Woods forest preserve in Chicago, on Facebook Live video. The video shows a man, later identified as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus, repeatedly approaching Irizarry. He tells her “You should not be wearing that in the United States of America” and “You’re not going to change us, you know that”.
In the video, Trybus asks Irizarry: “Are you a citizen?”
“Yes I am,” Irizarry replies, pointing out that Puerto Rico is a US territory and its populace are American citizens.
“Then you should not be wearing that,” Trybus replies. “You should be wearing United States of America flag.”
The video also showed an officer, Patrick Connor, standing nearby but not intervening. When Irizarry moves away from Trybus and says, “Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable, can you please grab him?”, Connor turns and walks away, back towards his vehicle.
Connor resigned after being criticized by Kelvin Pope, the chief of police for Forest Preserves of Cook county.
Irizarry said on Friday that Connor should not be allowed to resign without further punishment.
“I am severely disappointed I will never get to hear from this man, this officer, as to why my safety, no why my life, had so little value for him,” she said at a news conference. “I want the ex-officer to be really be held accountable, whatever that looks like. I can honestly say that I feared for my safety.”
Irizarry said Connor was a “coward” for resigning. “Of all the people who have apologized to me, the one person that hasn’t is him,” she said.
Ricardo Rosselló, the Puerto Rico governor, led calls for Connor to be fired, with Puerto Rican advocates demanding that the former officer’s pension be docked.
Trybus, who faces two felony hate crime charges, appeared in court on Friday and was released on a $10,000 bond. He was also ordered by a judge to undergo an alcohol assessment.
Video: Man Who Harassed Woman for Shirt Charged With Hate Crime