An Illinois police officer being investigated for his inaction as an intoxicated man berated a woman wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag has resigned, the Forest Preserves of Cook County said Wednesday.
The agency said that Officer Patrick Conner resigned late Tuesday.
“But that isn’t where our work ends. We are further addressing aspects of this incident,” a spokesperson for the Forest Preserves of Cook County said in a statement, adding the superintendent would address the matter to the media on Thursday.
The video of the June 14 encounter at the Caldwell Woods forest preserve in Chicago went viral, showing a man harassing Mia Irizarry, 24, for her choice of clothing, and asking if she’s a citizen.
In the video, Irizarry, who rented space in the park for a birthday party, is heard telling the man who is yelling at her and coming closer, to get away from her. 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.
The Forest Preserves of Cook County had previously said the officer had been placed on desk duty as it investigated the incident.
Officials on Tuesday said that Conner was the officer being investigated.
“The officer should have stepped in, and he should have done something,” Forest Preserves Chief of Police Kelvin Pope said at a news conference Tuesday.
An emailed statement from a spokesperson of the Forest Preserves has the officer’s last name spelled as Conner. A Forest Preserves tweet has his last name spelled as Connor. A spokesperson could not immediately be reached late Wednesday.
The video elicited strong reactions and there have been calls for the officer in the video be fired.
Even Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló weighed in, saying on Twitter that he was “appalled,” and that “a Puerto Rican woman was brutally harassed by a bigot while an officer did not interfere.”
The man who was tormenting Irizarry, identified by police as Timothy Trybus, 62, has been charged with assault and disorderly conduct. He was intoxicated at the time, the Forest Preserves of Cook County has said.
Pope said Tuesday that the investigation was launched on the same day that the incident occurred, but he said Conner was placed on desk duty on June 24, or 10 days after the incident. He said Conner was disciplined in the past for working a part-time job and for not carrying proper credentials, but not for anything of this nature.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and its residents are American citizens. President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 signed into law the Jones-Shafroth Act, granting U.S. citizenship to residents of Puerto Rico.