Man charged with hate crime over Puerto Rican shirt incident

Hannah Rogers
July 14, 2018

A Chicago man has been charged with a felony hate crime after a video that went viral showed him scolding a woman for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a Puerto Rican flag as a police officer watched the incident, authorities said on Friday.

Trybus was caught on camera last month verbally harassing Mia Irizarry in the Forest Preserves of Cook County in June. She had rented the space to celebrate her 24th birthday.

"Mr. Trybus asked me twice if the shirt I was wearing is a Texas state flag", Irizarry said, speaking to reporters in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

In the video, she asks police officer Patrick Connor to intervene and requests that Timothy stop crowding her.

He has since resigned from the force.

Timothy Trybus, 62, is charged with two felony counts of hate crime, Cook County State's Attorney spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

Trybus appeared in court Friday on charges of a hate crime, assault and disorderly conduct.

More police arrive and Irizarry says she still doesn't feel safe.

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Irizarry says Puerto Rico is part of the United States and the man approaches her multiple times. As we said yesterday, if a white woman said she was being harassed by a Black or Latin person, the police would have reacted with a quickness.

"Are you a United States citizen?" The man resumes his abuse, saying: "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

"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", the attorney, Tamara Cummings, said Thursday.

"I wonder where they get such an idea?" The officer is seen walking away. The video shows him approaching her, asking why she is wearing a v-neck Puerto Rican flag shirt with the words "Puerto Rico" written below the neckline. We can not allow those who do not understand America's greatness to terrorize people due to their background.

Instead of facing more heavy criticism and possible disciplinary action, Connor apparently chose to quit his job late Wednesday over the encounter that quickly went viral on social media.

Garcia posted a statement in which he said, "The Puerto Rican community deserves an apology and the young woman deserves justice from the Cook County Forest Preserve and the Cook County Justice System".

Lonnie Nasatir, midwest regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Chicago Tribune that a hate-crime charge might be warranted.

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