Officer resigns after dispute over Puerto Rican shirt

The flag of Puerto Rico flies outside the island's Capitol building in San Juan

The Cook County Forest Preserve Police Officer that seemingly stood by while a woman was berated resigned Wednesday night, days after the video sparked outrage around the world. A 62 year old man who police have identified as Timothy Tybus verbally abused and harassed Ms. Irizarry as she was wearing a shirt that depicts the flag of our US colony of Puerto Rico.

"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.

The charges stem from a June incident in which Trybus, who was reportedly intoxicated, confronted a woman for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag emblazoned across the front.

He is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing Friday. "The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity".

"His personnel file will reflect that this officer did not resign in good standing, with a note indicating that he left the district with discipline pending", the park agency's general superintendent, Arnold Randall, said Thursday. "I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times".

The incident in question occurred June 14 in Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve on the Far Northwest Side.

The female officer then speaks with Irizarry, who gives her version of the incident and the officer explains that they were called to the area after a report that a man was choking a woman.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called Trybus' behavior "abusive and offensive" and said Connor should have intervened. "You should not be wearing that in the United States of America".

Besides the man's actions and comments, it was the apparent inaction of a forest preserve police officer, seen in the background, that elicited heavy criticism.

In an earlier statement, the police said that an investigation had been launched and the officer had been placed on desk duty.

But the officer continues to do nothing or even move closer to Irizzary as the man continues to approach her.

Cook County Forest Preserve officials said Thursday they had planned to interview the officer involved in a now-viral Puerto Rico t-shirt video - but that he resigned before they could do so.

One of the other responding officers tells Trybus that he can't be harassing people, adding that people have just as much right to be in the park as he does. The video, posted on Facebook, has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was among those who condemned the video. The island is a US commonwealth, and Puerto Ricans are American citizens. This is not the America we all believe in'.

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