Author: James Dudley
By PoliceOne Staff
ROCKFORD, Ill. — An Illinois officer has resigned after facing criticism for not helping a woman who was being harassed for wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt.
The Hill reported that Forest Preserves Officer Patrick Connor resigned Wednesday after video appeared to show him not intervening during the incident. The agency confirmed Connor’s resignation on Twitter.
“Effective today, Officer Patrick Connor no longer serves in the police department of the Forest Preserves of Cook County,” the agency tweeted on Wednesday. “He resigned late today. But that isn’t where our work ends.”
In June, 24-year-old Mia Irizarry rented out a pavilion in a Forest Preserves of Cook County park to celebrate her birthday, according to CNN. While there, Irizarry was approached by a man, identified as Timothy Trybus, who told her she shouldn’t be wearing a t-shirt of the Puerto Rican flag.
Irizarry captured video of Trubus harassing her and questioning her citizenship.
Irizarry is heard on video asking Connor to help her because she felt unsafe around the man. Connor is seen walking away as she asks for his help. The officer later talks to Trybus, who tells the LEO to “shut the f**k up.”
Another officer arrives and asks Trybus for his ID. Connor writes down Irizarry’s statements and tells her that he was at the scene for a separate incident, noting that she wasn’t being attacked.
Trybus, who was intoxicated during the incident, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct. On Thursday, he was charged with two counts of felony hate crime, according to CBS News.
The video of the incident went viral this week, gaining the attention of Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosello, who called for the officer’s firing.
The preserve district police chief, Kelvin Pope, said he didn’t know why Connor didn’t intervene initially and said he feels that Connor “wasn’t given a fair shake.” Pope added that the officer was “very remorseful,” but resigned before investigators could ask him what happened.
Tamara Cummings, an attorney for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, said while the video doesn’t “look good,” she cautioned that it may not tell the whole story.
“We don’t know what was happening outside the video; we don’t know what was going on inside his (Connor’s) head at the time,” Cummings said. “He was looking forward to an opportunity to explain what was happening. However, given the media attention and pressure, he decided to resign.”