An Illinois man is being charged on Thursday with hate crimes after video of him verbally assaulting a woman wearing a Puerto Rico shirt went viral earlier this week.
Timothy Trybus, 62, is facing two charges of felony hate crimes, which are enhancements to the previous charge of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct.
He was first charged with the misdemeanor after he was caught on camera accosting Mia Irizarry at a Cooks County Forest Preserve picnic area in June.
In the video, posted to Facebook by Irizarry, he can be seen repeatedly coming towards her while shouting at her as she asks him to stop. Officers later said he appeared intoxicated.
Trybus also told her she shouldn’t be wearing a Puerto Rico shirt.
“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America. Are you a citizen?” the man can be heard saying in a video recording of the incident posted on Facebook.
“You’re not going to change us. The world is not going to change the United States of America, period,” he continued.
“Why is she wearing that s**t?”
He’s scheduled to be in court on Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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During the encounter, a Cook County Forest Preserve District police officer can be seen standing by and doing nothing as Irizarry asks for help.
Officer Patrick Conner was initially placed on leave pending an investigation. On Thursday, he resigned.
Tamara Cummings, a lawyer for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, said that Conner resigned because of the media attention.
“We don’t know what was happening outside the video; we don’t know what was going on inside his head at the time,” Cummings told CNN. “He was looking forward to an opportunity to explain what was happening. However, given the media attention and pressure, he decided to resign.”
“He’s very distraught and not happy about having to leave employment much sooner than he intended, but because of the strong reaction from the public and political figures, he thought it would be unrealistic to stay as an officer.”
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When the video started gaining media attention earlier this week, politicians including Puerto Rico’s governor and Cook County politicians weighed in.
After Conner resigned, the general superintendent of Cook County Forest Preserve, Arnold Randall, apologized for the incident.
“I am sincerely sorry that this happened. I’ve seen the video and I’m outraged that this would happen anywhere, let alone and especially sad that it happened in our forest preserve system. Clearly, our work is not done,” Randall said.
“We need to stand up to this type of behaviour. These angry outbursts and attacks do not represent our values here at the Forest Preserve system and in Cook County, and are not representing who we are as a country. It’s up to us, it’s up to each and every one of us to present a better model to demonstrate with our own actions how to treat people with more respect.”
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