A United States police officer has quit amid an inquiry into his response to a woman who was racially harassed while wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt. Connor was seen on cell phone video taken by Mia Irizarry, who was in the Forest Preserves of Cook County to celebrate her 27th birthday. The video shows him approaching her, asking why she is wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt with the words "Puerto Rico" written below the neckline.
In the footage, a man can be seen approaching Irizarry saying: "You should not be wearing that in the United States of America". "Are you a citizen?" Her friends can be heard telling him that Puerto Rico is part of the United States. She tells a police officer who is watching the scene "Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable, can you please grab him?" but the officer turns and walks away.
Besides the man's actions and comments, it was the apparent inaction of a forest preserve police officer, seen in the background, that elicited heavy criticism.
The officer resigned Wednesday and the investigation into the incident continues, the agency said.
Connor, who has been with the force since 2006, was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing Thursday.
Timothy Trybus, 62, is facing two charges of felony hate crimes, which are enhancements to the previous charge of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct. "I told him I was uncomfortable multiple times".
In the wake of the incident, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle offered the woman an apology and took the unusual step of calling Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico. "If you were an American, you wouldn't be wearing that".
Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García had called for such charges against Trybus a day earlier.
Still the 36-minute video of the confrontation posted by Mia Irizarry, the woman targeted in the vide left many people upset. We can not allow those who do not understand America's greatness to terrorize people due to their background.
"You're not an American", Trybus screamed at Irizarry.
And anyone who has eyeballs can see how police do not handle encounters with Black and brown people the same as with whites.
Irizarry can be heard explaining to the officer that the incident began when they had asked the group the man was in if they could move as they had a permit for the area.
One of the other responding officers tells Trybus that he can't be harassing people, adding that people have just as much right to be in the park as he does.
Connor was initially placed on desk duty as the investigation got underway.
Despite Connor's resignation, the forest preserve district says officials continue to investigate the incident.
Several different versions of the video have appeared across social media, but they all show a man, later identified by authorities as Trybus, berating a woman.
Supt Randall said that Ms Irizarry deserved to be praised for her response amid a national trend of "racially charged, abusive incidents we're seeing throughout the country". "This is not the America we all believe in".