Lately, there's been no shortage of viral videos showing emboldened white racists aggressively confronting black and brown Americans for doing everyday things. The latest video shows a belligerent man harassing a woman in an Illinois park for wearing a Puerto Rico flag shirt.
Failing to realize that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory whose residents are U.S. citizens, the man — later identified as Timothy G. Trybus — tells the woman she should "not be wearing [the shirt] in the United States of America." The man continuously gets in her face, despite her repeated pleas for him to step away.
But Trybus isn't the only bad apple in the video. While the altercation is going on, a police officer is seen just steps away. The officer clearly notices the debacle, but doesn't make any attempt to protect the woman from the man's hostile behavior.
The police officer has been identified as Patrick Connor of the Forest Preserve District Police Department. He has been put on desk duty for his inaction, but that is not enough.
By failing to intervene, Connor showed that he has no interest in protecting all people equally. He absolutely should have stepped in to ensure the woman's safety. Instead, he let Trybus badger the woman and hurl offensive comments.
Eventually more officers came, and Trybus was arrested for assault and disorderly conduct, but no thanks to Officer Connor.Please sign this petition demanding that the Forest Preserves Department of Cook County fire Officer Patrick Connor now.