Illinois Man Calls Woman's Puerto Rican Flag Shirt 'Not American'

Leroy Wright
July 14, 2018

A police officer who did not intervene during the incident resigned Wednesday following criticism for not helping the woman.

As he gets more belligerent and comes toward her, Irizarry tries to get a nearby officer with the Cook County Forest Preserves force to help her.

"You're not renting anything", the man insisted as he approached her.

"As you can see, the police, he's not even grabbing him", Irizarry says to her viewers. She then warns him, "You don't come here harassing people". "If you're an American, you wouldn't be wearing that". "You should not be wearing that in the United States of America". It also had "Puerto Rico" written below the neckline. The video shows a man angrily approaching a woman who is filming him as he yells "You're not gonna change us" while a nearby police officer stands by his vehicle and looks away as the distressed woman calls out for help. "You should be wearing a United States of America [inaudible]". Are you a citizen?'

Irizarry said on Facebook that she had rented out a pavilion at the forest preserve for a birthday party when she and her family and friends were accosted by the unidentified man. At one point the officer can be seen walking away from her as she says, "Officer, I feel entirely uncomfortable, can you remove ... please officer".

"Well I guess you just never know", Irizarry responds. Now, an investigation has been opened into the incident, where the man-who was visibly drunk-verbally berated the woman and called her shirt un-American.

'That officer did absolutely nothing he did absolutely zero, ' she says in the clip. "I do not feel comfortable with him here".

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The US president also called on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states to immediately do something about the matter. He added that "I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately".

A woman officer then stepped in, telling the intoxicated man that Irizarry has a permit and cautioning him that he could be arrested "for not being compliant". "These people had just been ignored and kind of left on the side, and no one was rushing in to help". Eventually, more officers arrive and arrest the man, who was charged with assault and disorderly conduct. The investigation is ongoing and the officer involved has been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome.

Footage of the incident, which took place last month, resurfaced online in recent days and one Facebook post with the clip had almost 2 million views at time of publication.

On Monday, Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselo tweeted an angry reaction about the incident. "He failed to deescalate the situation and therefore did not ensure a citizen's safety", Rosselló tweeted.

Rosello also called on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to take the matter "into her hands". "You should be wearing United States of America flag", he said. We can not allow those who do not understand America's greatness to terrorize people due to their background.

"This is America", he says.

Randall, the forest preserves superintendent, said his agency has apologized to Irizarry and refunded the money she had paid for a permit to gather at a picnic table area on the day of the incident.

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