Illinois police officer off beat after dispute over Puerto Rican shirt

Screen image of man yelling at woman for wearing Puerto Rico T-Shirt

A park police officer in Chicago has been assigned to desk duty while officials investigate his response to a woman who said she was being harassed for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag. Video of the incident has gone viral.

Mia Irizarry says she was trying to celebrate her 24th birthday last month when the man approached her asking her why she was wearing the sleeveless Puerto Rico flag shirt, which also had "Puerto Rico" written below the V neckline. Puerto Ricans are American citizens whether they are born on the USA mainland or in Puerto Rico and have been since 1899, when Puerto Rico was acquired as a territory.

Though the video was filmed on June 14, it was shared by NowThis News on Monday.

The flags of Puerto Rico and the United States fly side-by-side, May 8, 2017, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "Then you should not be wearing that", he said.

"You're not going to change us, you know that? Are you a United States citizen?" The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

The man's behavior towards Irizarry appears to have been witnessed by a nearby police officer, who does not appear to stop the man from continuing to verbally harass her, despite her requests for help. That officer is now under investigation.

"Because I can", she answered, before appealing to the police to intervene, saying she had rented some of the park's outdoor seating.

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Dennis White, chief attorney for the forest preserves, said it was possible charges against Trybus "could be updated" as a hate crime, and their office was in contact with the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Footage of the incident, which took place last month, resurfaced online in recent days and one Facebook post with the clip had almost 2 million views at time of publication.

The police officer turned and walked back to his police auto without responding, as the irate man followed her out onto the grass. Filing a formal complaint against the officer. Female officer steps inMore police arrive and Irizarry says she still doesn't feel safe.

The video sparked widespread outrage on July 9.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello reacted to the video on Twitter. "I am troubled by the response of the initial officer on the scene".

Rosello said the officer failed to ensure Irizarry safety.

Rossello added that Cook County is home to a diverse population and he believes Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will handle the incident properly. "This is not the America we all believe in". Eilieen Figel said the investigation into the officer is "ongoing" but promised "disciplinary actions will be swift" when the probe is completed. He was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct. "All people are welcome in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and no one should feel unsafe while visiting our preserves".

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