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Police officer harasses woman for wearing Puerto Rican flag shirt
12 July 2018, 02:00 | Darnell Patrick
Facebook A woman was attacked by this man at a park near Chicago because she was wearing a Puerto Rico flag shirt
"If you're an American citizen, you should not be wearing that shirt in America", he says at another point.
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. The officer is seen turning the other way.
The harassment continued, as Irizarry repeatedly called on the officer for help, asking, "Is there anything you can do?"
Irizarry can be heard saying that Puerto Rico is part of the United States and the man approaches her multiple times. He asks her if she is an American citizen, to which she responds that she is.
Eventually the first officer on the scene takes notes of Irizarry's account of the incident and says that he was at the scene due to the separate incident, noting that she was not being attacked though acknowledging she felt threatened.
"You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that.
Please, officer", the woman can be heard saying.
Gutiérrez added in subsequent tweets on Tuesday that he doesn't care that Irizarry is Puerto Rican or wearing a Puerto Rican flag t-shirt just because he is Puerto Rican.
"I am appalled, shocked & disturbed by the officer's behavior", Rossello tweeted.
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The park is now investigating the conduct of the police officer in question, who has been assigned to desk duty till the investigation reaches its conclusion.
"All people are welcome in the Forest Preserves of Cook County and no one should feel unsafe while visiting our preserves", the agency said. "This guy's just walking up to me, he basically got in my face, damn near nearly touched me".
Irizarry filmed the video about a month ago, but it has gained recent traction and since been watched more than a million times. "He failed to de-escalate the situation and therefore did not ensure a citizen's safety".
"Well, I guess you just never know", replied Irizarry. He'll also be required by law to answer questions posed to him by a commanding officer, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin said Wednesday.
"There's a culture of bigotry & hate that's been condoned in U.S., which now feels unleashed to express itself in the most ugly & aggressive ways", Gutiérrez tweeted.
"This is not the America we all believe in", he said.
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.
A poll previous year by Morning Consult found that nearly half of Americans don't know that people born in Puerto Rico are US citizens. "It's an issue of education, it's an issue of civil rights and it's an issue of basic human dignity". "The United States of America is a nation that was built and thrives on diversity". Puerto Rico is an American territory. "People need to understand that".
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