Puerto Rican T-shirt video controversy results in officer's resignation

Friday, 13 Jul, 2018

An Illinois police officer who drew criticism after he was caught on video appearing to ignore a woman's pleas for help as a man harassed her about a Puerto Rican flag shirt resigned his position late Wednesday, officials said.

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

"We are further addressing aspects of this incident", the statement reads. The video, posted on Facebook, has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.

Timothy Trybus, 62, originally faced misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges for the incident where he angrily confronted the woman and told her she "shouldn't be wearing that" - referring to the shirt.

My wife and I wanted to let her know that we support her and we admire her.

I just hope that we all are as poised as Ms. Irizarry was if and when someone gets in our face; whether for wearing a pussy hat, or a hijab, a rainbow flag or a black lives matter t-shirt. In the video, Irizarry is approached by a man, identified by authorities as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus, who tells her she should not be wearing the Puerto Rican flag shirt in the USA, and asks "Are you a citizen?"

"You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

I hope we are all more willing than Officer Conner to take action when someone is trying to bully someone else, and I hope most Americans and I know most Americans are not like Mr. Tybus who is afflicted with both fear and ignorance and probably a substance abuse problem. "I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times".

More police arrive and Irizarry says she still doesn't feel safe. "The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity".

The officer can then be seen talking to the man who gesticulates back and tells him to "shut the f*** up".

Puerto Rico is a USA commonwealth with its own constitution, rather than a state.

The incident was condemned by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, who said he was "appalled, shocked and disturbed" by the officer's behavior.

"He failed to de-escalate the situation and therefore did not ensure a citizen's safety". This is not the America we all believe in'.

She said the incident went on much longer than the video showed, even after Trybus was in custody and placed in a squad auto.