Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

Hugh Fox
July 13, 2018

A Chicago man who was caught on video unleashing a racist tirade against a woman wearing a Puerto Rico shirt was hit with felony hate crime charges on Thursday. The Tribune said these are "enhancements" on prior charges of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County confirmed that Officer Patrick Connor no longer works for the department following an incident filmed on June 14, which went viral almost a month later. The video shows him approaching her, asking why she is wearing a v-neck Puerto Rican flag shirt with the words "Puerto Rico" written below the neckline.

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. "The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity".

In the video, posted to Facebook by Irizarry, he can be seen repeatedly coming towards her while shouting at her as she asks him to stop.

At a press conference on Thursday, Superintendent Arnold Randall said Mr Connor was "very remorseful" when he resigned.

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Nasatir, a former Cook County prosecutor, pointed out that under IL law, Trybus might be guilty of a hate crime if any of his actions were motivated by his bias against the victim, "From the statements (Trybus) made, and the language used, it's something that certainly should be seriously looked at to see if the hate crime enhancement is appropriate", he said. "I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times".

I was new and I was dressed somewhat casually because we were just returning from a Puerto Rican celebration and my daughter was carrying a Puerto Rican flag. 'Why are you wearing that?'

"It was truly appalling, gut wrenching and a real wake up call", Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. said.

Tamara Cummings, general counsel for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council said about the deplorable incident: "The video does not look good, but anybody who is a football fan knows that the video does not tell the whole story".

"You're not an American", Trybus screamed at Irizarry.

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Irizarry can be heard explaining to the officer the incident began when they had asked the group the man was in if they could move as they had a permit for the area.

‏"After the incident, we immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer", it said, in a series of posts on Twitter.

The officer was put on desk duty while officials investigated the incident, but he resigned this week. "Can you please grab him?"

For several minutes the man berates Irizarry and at one point stands a few inches from her. The woman, Mia Irizarry, is heard appealing to the officer to help restrain the man, but the officer doesn't appear to engage until almost 10 minutes later, when other officers arrive. She said the group politely complied but her Puerto Rico shirt appeared to act as a trigger to the man.

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