A Chicago park officer who appeared not to intervene as a Hispanic woman was being verbally harassed by a stranger is on desk duty pending an investigation, officials said Tuesday.
Viral video shared on social media this week shows 62-year-old Timothy Trybus confronting Mia Irizarry, who was sporting a Puerto Rico t-shirt, at a local park on June 14. According to local station WGN 9, Irizarry reserved a gazebo in Caldwell Woods and was setting up for a birthday party when Trybus came over and began harassing her.
“Are you educated?” he asks her, getting in her face. “You shouldn’t be wearing that shirt in the United States of America … Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?”
In the video, Irizarry is seen asking an officer for help as Trybus continues badgering her. The cop never steps in, however.
“Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable,” Irizarry says. “Can you please grab him?”
At a Tuesday press conference, Deputy General Superintendent Eileen Figel announced that the department launched an investigation into Forest Preserve Officer Patrick O’Connor’s actions, or rather inaction, on the day of the incident.
“We’ve apologized personally to Miss Irizarry, refunded her money, and we continue to offer our sincerest apologies for her experience,” Figel said, adding that O’Connor has since been placed on desk duty.
Officials said this isn’t the first time the 10-year police veteran has faced discipline.
As for Trybus, he’s since been charged with assault and disorderly contact, WGN 9 reported. Police arrested him at the scene after O’Connor finally called for back up.
Prominent leaders, including Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. (D- 8th) and even the governor of Puerto Rico, have since called for the officer’s firing.
“This inaction by law enforcement will not be tolerated,” said Arroyo. “… This officer did not do his duty [and] I will not accept anything else but this officer’s termination.”