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Facebook Live Catches Cop Not Doing His Job, Public Outrage Ensues

Social Injustice

Facebook Live Catches Cop Not Doing His Job, Public Outrage Ensues

When a citizen gets sworn in as a police officer, they dedicate themselves to enforcing the law, as well as protecting and serving their communities. We’d like to believe that in general, that’s exactly what police officers do after putting on the badge. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

One summer day in Chicago offers an example of one police officer not doing the job he signed up for. And with a little help from a smart phone, followed by an immediate public outcry for something to be done, one woman was able to bring justice to an otherwise incompetent public servant, and the man who ruined her birthday.

Birthday Plans

Mia Irizarry Story
 

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In early June 2018, a Chicago woman was planning her upcoming birthday. She decided to celebrate the day by hosting a small barbeque with friends and family at the Caldwell Woods forest preserve in Chicago. The preserve is known for its trails, recreational areas, nature centers and events — none of which she would fully appreciate that day.

 

Party Time

Mia Irizarry Story
 

www.lcfpd.org


The woman paid for a special permit to ensure that on the day of her birthday party a picnic and barbeque area were available to her friends and family. When the day of the party finally came on June 14, 2018, she and a family member arrived early to start setting up. Everything looked like it was going to be fine, for a short while at least.

 

A Damper On The Festivities

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


While setting up for her 24th birthday party, the woman was excited about the fun and relaxing day that she had planned. Sadly, however, a stranger who was at the preserve that afternoon made it his mission to ruin her birthday. He noticed the party setup and saw something he didn’t like. Not only that, he felt for some reason he had no other choice but to do something about it.

 

A Seemingly Harmless Question

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


As the young woman set up a picnic table before other friends and family members arrived, the complete stranger walked over to her and asked her a random question about the shirt she was wearing that afternoon. The woman’s right to express herself freely mustn’t have crossed the man’s mind, or maybe he just felt like starting trouble. Either way, his intentions weren’t to leave this family alone to enjoy their time at the preserve.

 

The Flag

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


According to the woman, Mia Irizarry, the man appeared to be intoxicated when he asked her if the shirt she was wearing featured the Texas’ state flag. That state flag features a blue vertical section to the left, with a white star in the section’s center. The right side is evenly divided horizontally by a white section (top) and a red section (bottom). The Texas’ flag is both unique and highly recognizable. (This apparently drunken man was either acting willfully ignorant or didn’t pay attention in school.) At first, Mia didn’t think anything about the random question and replied that it was actually the Puerto Rican flag on her shirt, as noted by the words “Puerto Rico” across the front.

 

The Harassment Begins

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” said the stranger, who appeared to be drunk as he was slurring his words slightly. Then the man, who has been identified as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus, started questioning if she was a legal resident of the country…

 

A Legal Citizen

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


“Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?” Trybus repeatedly asks Mia, who tried to explain that as a Puerto Rican citizen, she automatically has citizenship in the United States since it is an unincorporated territory of the country.

 

Wasting Her Breath

Mia Irizarry Story
 

www.wipr.pr


“Yes I am,” Mia answers calmly. “Then you should not be wearing that,” Trybus replies aggressively. “You should be wearing United States of America flag.” At that point, it became obvious to Mia that the man couldn’t be reasoned with and wasn’t going to leave her alone…

 

The Aggression Increases

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


“You’re not going to change us, you know that,” Trybus shouted. Since Trybus was getting increasingly aggressive, Mia was afraid that the uncomfortable confrontation would turn physical. Before it escalated to that point, Mia decided to call the police.

 

Calling For Help

Mia Irizarry Story
 

www.kxro.com


She hoped that if she reported the harassment so that an officer could help her defuse the situation. As Mia waited for an officer to arrive, she took her phone out and started recording what was happening as proof so Trybus couldn’t deny it later on…

 

Help Arrives

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


Thankfully, it was only a few minutes until an officer from the police department of the Forest Preserves of Cook County arrived. As Mia tried to explain the situation to Officer Patrick Connor, Trybus continued the harassment and repeatedly intruded in her personal space.

 

A First-Hand Witness

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” Trybus shouted in front of the officer. Sadly, Officer Connor did nothing to stop the confrontation or encourage Trybus to leave Mia, who had paid for a permit to use the space in peace, alone…

 

A Live Stream

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


“I am renting this area and he’s harassing me about the shirt that I’m wearing,” Mia said. “Officer, I feel entirely uncomfortable, can you remove … please officer,” Mia asked the officer as calmly as she could while continuing to film the interaction and stream it directly to Facebook Live.

 

Refusing To Protect And Serve

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


“Officer, I’m renting, I paid for a permit for this area … I do not feel comfortable with him here, is there anything you can do?” No matter how much Mia pleaded, however, Connor just stood there refusing to help her as Trybus harassed her…

 

Encouraging The Aggression

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


Rather than help Mia, Connor turned his back and let the harassment continue. “As you can see the police are not even — he’s not even grabbing him. Like this guy is just walking up to me. He basically got in my face, damn near almost touched me,” Mia said to the camera as she recorded.

 

The Incident Goes Viral

Mia Irizarry Story
 

Mia Irizarry / Facebook


Ultimately, a female officer arrived at the scene and finally got the situation under control. “You don’t come here harassing people,” the officer told Trybus. “People have just as much right to be here as you, and when you’re drunk, you don’t belong here.” While the female officer helped protect Mia, the footage of her colleague’s response was already uploaded on Facebook and the footage quickly went viral around the country…

 

An Investigation Begins

Mia Irizarry Story
 

sites.google.com


‏”After the incident, we immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer,” the park said after the public expressed their outrage. “The investigation is ongoing and the officer involved has been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome. The intoxicated individual involved in the incident was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.”

 

Escaping Punishment

Mia Irizarry Story
 

chicago.suntimes.com


In the wake of the controversy, Officer Connor avoided punishment by resigning from the department before the investigation into the incident was completed. “I am severely disappointed I will never get to hear from this man, this officer, as to why my safety, no why my life, had so little value for him,” Mia said. “I want the ex-officer to be really be held accountable, whatever that looks like. I can honestly say that I feared for my safety…”

 

Work Isn’t Done

Mia Irizarry Story
 

www.latinorebels.com


“I am sincerely sorry this happened. I’ve seen the video, and I am outraged that this would happen anywhere, but especially sad it happened in our Forest Preserves. Clearly, our work isn’t done,” General Superintendent Arnold Randall said. “Certain aspects of the investigation are continuing, as it relates to the State’s Attorney’s investigation of potential criminal charges against Mr. Trybus. And, we are continuing our internal review because we know that we can learn from this incident.” So far, Trybus has also been charged with 2 felony hate crime charges and was ordered to undergo an alcohol assessment.

Moving Forward

Mia Irizarry Story
 

chicago.cbslocal.com


“We are deeply committed to inclusivity and make every effort to infuse our work with that commitment. But we know there’s always room for improvement and we want to use this incident as an opportunity to grow stronger,” Randall added. “It was extremely surreal to think that someone whose job is to protect and serve could just completely walk away,” said Mia, who is still frustrated but is glad that Connor won’t be able to treat anyone else the way he treated her.

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