A video went viral of 24-year-old Mia Irizarry being harassed at a park in Cook County, Illinois earlier this week. Irizarry, who is Puerto Rican and was celebrating her birthday, was wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag when a white man began harassing her.
“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America. Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?” he screamed, referring to the shirt as “un-American.”
What was also disturbing about the video was the cop who did nothing to stop the harassment. After the video went viral, the officer no longer has a job.
Officer Patrick Connor was supposed to have a sit down with his bosses about the incident, but instead he quit on July 11, The Chicago-Sun Times reported.
“The 10-year veteran officer resigned late Wednesday, according to Cook County Forest Preserve District officials, rather than fight to keep his badge over the encounter that has been recorded and viewed millions of times, drawing international scorn for Connor’s inaction,” the outlet reported.
See the video below:
Connor’s resignation was “a commonsense decision after his inaction and failure to serve Cook County,” Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia said, according to The Chicago-Sun Times. However, this still leaves many questions unanswered. Cook County Government must not only “review the types of training that officers and staff in all departments receive but how they are implemented and held accountable.”
Nonetheless, Officer Connor still has defenders.
“The video does not look good, but anybody who is a football fan knows that the video does not tell the whole story,” Tamara Cummings, general counsel for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, said. “We still don’t know what happened outside the video. We don’t know what was going on inside his head.”
And anyone who has eyeballs can see how police do not handle encounters with Black and brown people the same as with whites. As we said yesterday, if a white woman said she was being harassed by a Black or Latin person, the police would have reacted with a quickness. There wouldn’t have even been time to pull out a phone to record it.