CHICAGO (CBS)–A Cook County Commissioner is calling for a hate crime charge against a man accused of berating a woman in a Puerto Rico shirt at a Cook County Forest Preserve, while a disciplinary hearing has been scheduled for the cop that stood by while it happened.
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Chicago, distributed a statement Wednesday calling on the State’s Attorney’s office and the Forest Preserve police department to file tougher charges against 62-year-old Timothy Trybus, who is seen in a Facebook video asking a park-goer about her shirt.READ MORE: Fire Department Rescues Blue Macaw In The Loop
“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America.” He gets closer to her and asks “Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?”
Trybus was charged with simple battery, according to an arrest report released Tuesday.
“A charge for simple assault or disorderly conduct is not sufficient, this incident must be investigated and charged as a hate crime,” Garcia said in a statement.
Criticism is also building against Cook County Forest Preserve police officer Patrick Connor, who was placed on desk duty after a video showed him doing nothing while Trybus harassed the 24-year-old woman, who was at the park for a birthday party.
Connor is scheduled to appear at a disciplinary hearing Thursday.
“You’re not American, if you were American you wouldn’t wear that. You know that right?” says the man, who appears to be intoxicated. The video, posted on Facebook, has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.
Cook County Board Chairman Toni Preckwinkle called Puerto Rico’s governor about the incident on Tuesday.
Preckwinkle said she assured Nevares the officer’s actions don’t reflect Cook County’s values.
“The incident … is completely unacceptable,” Preckwinkle said. “I apologize to the young woman who had this terrible experience. I am troubled by the response of the initial officer on the scene.”
The woman targeted in the video, Mia Irizarry, says she was trying to celebrate her birthday when Trybus approached her asking her why she was wearing the sleeveless Puerto Rico flag shirt, which also had “Puerto Rico” written below the V neckline.
Irizarry recorded the encounter on her phone, saying she felt threatened. The video was posted on Facebook, and has drawn strong reactions.
On Monday, the Forest Preserve tweeted that it was aware of the June 14 incident, and the officer in the video has since been put on desk duty.
The video also drawn sharp criticism from 4th District Rep. Luis Gutierrez. The Puerto Rican legislator released a statement Tuesday afternoon calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the incident.
“Because of the seriousness of the encounter, the fact that it targeted the Puerto Rican community in and around my District, and the growing number of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant hate crimes being reported, I demand the Civil Rights Division investigate to see if federal civil rights charges are warranted,” the statement read.
Irizarry can be heard saying that Puerto Rico is part of the United States as Trybus approaches her multiple times.
Irizarry asks Officer Connor to help, saying “I am renting this area and he’s harassing me about the shirt that I’m wearing.”
Later she says: “Officer, I feel entirely uncomfortable, can you remove … please officer” as the officer is seen walking away from her.
The officer can then be seen talking to Trybus, who gesticulates back and tells him to “shut the f*** up.”
Later, more police arrive and Irizarry says she still doesn’t feel safe. Trybus resumes his abuse, saying: “You’re not American, if you were American you wouldn’t wear that. You know that right?”
The female officer asked to see the man’s ID and can be heard telling him that he’s intoxicated, to which he replies “well that’s your judgment.” She explains that Irizarry has a permit and she warns him that he could be arrested “for not being compliant.”
“You don’t come here harassing people,” the officer continues. “People have just as much right to be here as you and when you’re drunk, you don’t belong here.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello reacted to the video on Twitter.