Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Forest preserve officer who didn't help woman in Puerto Rican flag shirt 'tarnished the whole department,' commissioner says

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Gregory Pratt

Forest preserve officer who didn't help woman in Puerto Rican flag shirt 'tarnished the whole department,' commissioner says

Gregory PrattChicago Tribune

The Cook County Forest Preserve District police officer who resigned after being caught on video seemingly ignoring a woman’s call for help did not leave “in good standing,” the district’s superintendent said Thursday.

County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. said at a news conference that Officer Patrick Connor “embarrassed many of our law enforcement officers and tarnished the whole department with his failure to act.”

ADVERTISING

County officials, though, praised the woman wearing a shirt emblazoned with the flag of Puerto Rico as a role model for her composure under intense, racially charged pressure. Forest Preserves General Superintendent Arnold Randall tried to place the incident in the context of similar ones across the country, saying it’s a reminder that people need to stand up to the type of behavior seen in the video.

“We might start with the fine example presented Mia Irizarry and her family, who handled this ugly incident with great composure, never stooping to the level of the man who attacked her,” Randall said.

Now the district will review the diversity training officers have to take. Connor took that training a year ago, officials said.

Thursday’s news conference was the latest attempt by county officials to respond to the encounter, which happened in mid-June but became an international scandal this week when video footage of the incident went viral and drew millions of views. That has meant a significant amount of negative attention for the preserves, which Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle addressed in a statement.

“The appalling incident of June 14 and the inaction of one former member of the Forest Preserves Police should not diminish the greatness of the Preserves, nor dissuade people from enjoying our 70,000 acres of nature and beauty,” she said. “As Arnold said today, we recommit ourselves to ensuring our guests have a safe and pleasurable experience in the preserves, and we will continue working with our dedicated staff to meet our obligations in this regard.”

In the video, shot at Caldwell Woods in Chicago, a man confronts and berates a woman for wearing a shirt. The woman appeals to the officer, but he appears to not respond. Attempts to reach Connor have been unsuccessful.

District police Chief Kelvin Pope said Connor was “very remorseful” when he resigned but that Connor considered it “an unfortunate incident” and felt he wasn’t “given a fair shake” by all the publicity.

Randall said he “vehemently disagreed” with Connor that he handled the situation properly. His personnel file will note that he left with “discipline pending,” and he won’t be rehired to the department, Randall said.

Forest preserve cop resigns after apparently failing to help woman being harassed over Puerto Rico shirt »

Connor, 56, joined the department in 2006, according to state records. He has come under heavy criticism based on the video, and there have been multiple calls for him to be dismissed.

On Wednesday, the top lawyer for the union that represents Connor and his fellow officers on the Forest Preserve District police force had urged people not to rush to judgment based on what was seen on the video.

“I always say this when it comes to video: The video doesn’t look good, but anybody who’s a football fan knows that the video doesn’t tell the entire story,” Tamara Cummings, general counsel for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, said Wednesday. “We don’t know what was going on outside the video, and we don’t know what was going through the officer’s mind. That’s the purpose of the investigation, to find out all the facts.”

The video shows the woman asking Connor to restrain the man who is bothering her. The officer is visible in the background of the video, standing several yards from the man and the woman, but he does not appear to respond to the woman’s requests for help.

The man, later identified as Timothy Trybus, has been charged with two felony hate crime counts as well as misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct.

In the video, Trybus, 62, demands to know why the woman is wearing a shirt displaying the Puerto Rican flag. He asks her whether she is an American citizen, even though Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and its residents are U.S. citizens.

“You should not be wearing that in the United States of America,” Trybus tells her.

In a longer version of the video, the officer explains that he was called to the preserve in response to an alleged incident between a man who was with Trybus and another woman, and Connor appears to try to assure the victim that Trybus does not pose any threat to her safety.

County officials on Thursday were asked what people should do if they find themselves in a similar situation Irizarry did.

“Mia absolutely did the correct thing,” Pope said.

“That’s what we took an oath to do, serve and protect, and it was just unfortunate that this circumstance didn’t turn out in that way,” he said.

gpratt@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @royalpratt



Recent Headlines

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Another tool to help address flooding and promote economic development in Cook County
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
The Daily Line

Cook County Commissioners urge passage of Justice for Black Lives resolution to shift resources from incarceration to human needs
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Announces $41M Grant to Fund COVID-19 Contact Tracing
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
The Chicago Crusader

Lightfoot, senior advocates strike deal on Covid-19 housing protection ordinance
Monday, July 06, 2020
The Daily Line

Wellness checks and lines as Cook County courthouses open, hold more in-person hearings
Monday, July 06, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Circuit Court resuming limited in-person operations Monday
Monday, July 06, 2020

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Monday, July 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

New flood maps tell us we aren’t doing enough to stop rising waters
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County courts start reopening Monday, with thousands of cases stalled by pandemic. ‘How do you wake the sleeping giant?’
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board considers nonbinding proposal to shift money from ‘failed and racist’ policing, incarceration systems
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus pandemic should spur family talk about financial planning, too
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

COVID-19 Cases Are On The Rise In Some Parts Of Illinois. This Worries Experts.
Friday, July 03, 2020
WBEZ News

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Daily Herald

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP