The Governor of Puerto Rico responded to a viral video of a woman being harassed for wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt Monday.
The incident, which took place in Cook County, Ill., was filmed last month as a Facebook live video by Mia Irizarry, who was wearing the Puerto Rican flag shirt. In the video, an older white man, who reports identify as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus, is seen provoking Irizarry and aggressively asking why she is wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt in America. “You should not be wearing that,” he is heard saying as he repeatedly confronts her.
In the video, Irizarry replies that she is wearing the shirt “because I can,” and tells him that the U.S. owns Puerto Rico. In an agitated tone the man says, “We don’t own Puerto Rico. Are you educated?”
The Forest Preserves of Cook County on Monday tweeted that Trybus was arrested.
“The intoxicated individual involved in the incident was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct,” the account said on Twitter.
The Forest Preserves also said on Twitter that it “immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer,” referencing the behavior of a police officer seen on camera who Irizarry asked for help while Trybus verbally harassed her, but did not intervene on her behalf.
The police officer has been identified by the media as Patrick Connor. In the video, Conor does not appear to stop Trybus from continuing to berate Irizarry, despite her requests for Connor to take action. Irizarry is standing in a picnic area, which she tells Connor she has a permit for to attend a birthday party.
The Forest Preserves tweeted that Connor “has been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome” of its investigation into his response to the incident. In the video, additional police officers arrive to the scene and Connor can be heard telling Irizarry he did not believe Trybus was going to attack her. “He’s just a big mouth,” Connor says.
Gov. Rossello wrote on Twitter that he is “appalled, shocked & disturbed by the officer’s behavior…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.”
Rosello said the officer failed to ensure Irizarry’s safety. “This is not the America we all believe in,” he tweeted.
Though the video was filmed on June 14, it was shared by NowThis News on Monday.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello called it an “undignified event in which a Puerto Rican woman was brutally harassed by a bigot while an officer did not interfere.”
The video has been viewed more than 1.2 million on Irizarry’s Facebook page, and more than 7 million times on the NowThisPolitics Facebook page.
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