World

Man harasses woman over Puerto Rico shirt, says it’s ‘un-American’

Man harasses woman over Puerto Rico shirt, says it’s ‘un-American’

Video of the June 14 incident shows the officer didn't respond.

Authorities placed an IL park officer on desk duty Monday night after video surfaced of him standing idly by as a man harassed a woman wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag.

"I am very sorry for the experience the young woman had to (endure) and I'm further troubled by the lack of response and action by the initial officer on the scene".

"Why are you wearing that?" the man points to Irizarry in Facebook Live footage she captured, while repeatedly demanding to know her citizenship status. You're not going to change the United States of America.

'I'm an American citizen.I'm not trying to change anyone, I just came here for a birthday party, ' Irizzary tells him as he gets in her face. "You know that", the man says in the video.

"You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

All the while, a police officer stood watching, ignoring Irizarry as she pleaded with him to intervene. Can you please grab him? "She also says, "Officer, I feel entirely uncomfortable, can you remove ... please officer" as the officer casually walks away from her".

Apparently, another bystander eventually called police and more officers arrived to deal with the man.

The agency adds, "The intoxicated individual involved in the incident was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct". The unresponsive officer seen in the video was reassigned to desk duty pending his conduct review.




The video has been viewed more than 1.2 million on Irizarry's Facebook page, and more than 7 million times on the NowThisPolitics Facebook page.

The police officer turned and walked back to his police auto without responding, as the irate man followed her out onto the grass. "People have just as much right to be here as you and when you're drunk, you don't belong here".

"This is America", he says. "The Forest Preserves immediately launched an investigation into the incident", she tweeted.

"We have worked very hard since 2010 to make the Forest Preserves of Cook County a welcoming and safe place for all", she tweeted.

He was referring, of course, to President Trump's visit to a hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in October, in which he tossed rolls of towels into the crowd as if they were basketballs.

A woman setting up a birthday picnic at an IL park was repeatedly harassed by an angry stranger for wearing a T-shirt saying "Puerto Rico" in America.

Gutiérrez went as far as to write a letter to the acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to ask for an investigation into what happened to Irizarry.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted about the incident, calling it an "undignified event in which a Puerto Rican woman was brutally harassed by a bigot while an officer did not interfere". From 1917, Puerto Rican residents have been US citizens and have the ability to vote in USA presidential primaries, though not in presidential elections.


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