National News

Officer Who Appeared to Ignore Puerto Rican Flag Shirt Episode Resigns

Posted July 11, 2018 11:12 p.m. EDT

An Illinois police officer who drew criticism after he was caught on video appearing to ignore a woman’s pleas for help as a man harassed her about a Puerto Rican flag shirt resigned his position late Wednesday, officials said.

The officer, Patrick Connor, a 12-year veteran of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Police Department, had been put under investigation and on desk duty after a widely shared video of the confrontation angered public officials, including Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico.

In a statement announcing Connor’s resignation, officials with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County said that they planned to further address “aspects of this incident” and that they would not provide additional details until Thursday.

The episode took place last month in Caldwell Woods, a park in northern Chicago. The recording, taken by the woman involved, shows a man, identified by the police as Timothy Trybus, demanding to know why she has a Puerto Rican flag shirt on and whether the woman, Mia Irizarry, is a U.S. citizen. While Trybus shouts at her, points at her face and follows her around part of the park, Connor can be seen standing about 20 feet away with his hands against his chest.

“You are not going to change us, you know that, right?” Trybus, 62, says to Irizarry, 24, as he walks up to her. “Are you a United States citizen? Then you should not be wearing that.”

Irizarry, who was at the park with friends for a birthday party, can be heard on the video telling Trybus that she is indeed an American citizen. Her friends can be heard telling him that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.

At one point in the video, Irizarry tries to move away from Trybus and walks out from under a pavilion, but he follows her as Connor appears not to approach them.

“Officer, officer, I feel highly uncomfortable,” Irizarry tells Connor, who does not appear to respond to her as he is addressed, and can be seen turning his back and walking toward his police car.

The video shows Trybus continuing to confront Irizarry and her friends for about 10 minutes before additional police officers arrive and eventually arrest him. Trybus was later charged with disorderly conduct and assault. Repeated attempts to reach him for comment have been unsuccessful.

Irizarry has not responded to multiple requests for an interview.

“That officer did absolutely nothing — he did absolutely zero,” Irizarry said in the video, which was streamed from her Facebook profile on June 14, but gained a wider audience this week. “I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times. He did not do anything.”