Video of Man Harassing Woman Over Puerto Rico Shirt Sparks Probe


Video emerged this week of the incident on the Northwest Side in which a man threatens, and curses at a woman for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag at a pavilion she had reserved for a birthday party.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to begin removing mega-generators providing backup power at Puerto Rico's power plants as soon as next week, and island officials are concerned this is taking place in the middle of hurricane season.

The top lawyer for the union that represents Patrick Connor and his fellow officers on the Cook County Forest Preserve District police force urged people not to rush to judgment because of what was seen on a video of an incident involving Connor last month at a forest preserve.

"Why are you wearing that?" the man points to Irizarry in Facebook Live footage she captured, while repeatedly demanding to know her citizenship status. "If you're an American citizen you should not be wearing that shirt in America", Trybus says.

"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America". The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

As she was making the preparations, the man approached her and demanded to know why she was wearing her shirt, which also had the words "Puerto Rico" written on it.

When the policeman didn't respond, Irizarry says, "Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable".

However, the officer walked away from her, then later spoke to the man, who told the officer to "shut the fuck up".

Officers arrested the man in the video, according to the Forest Preserves agency, which also described him as intoxicated.

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Caldwell Woods is part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

As more police arrive, Irizarry tells them she still doesn't feel safe as the man continues his tirade.

Stagner and the Forest Preserves are not the only ones upset by the video, as Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted about the "undignified event", calling the man a bigot and finding fault with the first officer who "did not interfere". Even police officers have a right to a fair process.

"We take such incidents seriously, and if the investigation confirms the officer did not take appropriate steps to ensure public safety, disciplinary action will follow". After the incident, we immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer.

"The officer should have stepped in and he should have done something", Pope said.

The officer appears to finally engage and Irizarry can be heard saying, "OK, well how come you're saying something when [my brother's] going up, but when he was coming up to me, you didn't do anything?"

She said she had spoken with Rosselló, telling him the behavior in the video "does not represent our values in Cook County". "In this case, a U.S. citizen questions the citizenship of another USA citizen and American law-enforcement just sits back and watches".

Cook County Board Chairman Toni Preckwinkle called Puerto Rico's governor about the incident on Tuesday.