Officer resigns after alleged harassment over Puerto Rico shirt

CHICAGO — A Cook County Forest Preserve officer has resigned after a now-viral video showed him standing idly while a man harassed a Latina woman for wearing a Puerto Rico t-shirt.

A statement from the Cook County Forest Preserve said, “Officer Patrick Conner no longer serves in the police department of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. He resigned late today.”

Officials said there will be  more details about Conner's resignation Thursday.

The video posted to social media shows 62-year-old Timothy Trybus confronting Mia Irizarry on June 14 as she was setting up a birthday party in a reserved gazebo in Caldwell Woods on the Northwest Side.

"You should not be wearing that shirt in the United States of America... Are you a citizen? Are you a United  States citizen?" Trybus says in the video.

The video also shows Irizarry ask a nearby officer, O’Connor, for help, but he does not appear to intervene.

At a press conference on the matter Tuesday, Deputy General Superintendent Eileen Figel said the department launched an investigation on the same day of the incident.

"We have apologized personally to Miss Irizarry, refunded her money, and we continue to offer our sincerest apologies for her experience," Figel said.

Officials said O’Connor has been on the job for 10 years and has been disciplined before. He had been placed on desk duty.

"The officer should have stepped in," Cook County Forest Preserves Chief of Police Kelvin Pope said. "We are taking steps to ensure that our officers do everything they can to protect the safety of our patrons who come to enjoy our forest preserves."

Additional officers eventually arrived on the scene and arrested Trybus after O'Connor called for backup. Trybus now faces charges of assault and disorderly contact.

Politicians including governor of Puerto Rico and Cook Country Board President Toni Preckwinkle have also criticized the officer's actions, with the former calling for his firing.

"This inaction by law enforcement will not be tolerated," said Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. (D- 8th).

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