Man harasses woman for wearing Puerto Rico shirt, says it's 'un-American'

Man harasses woman for wearing Puerto Rico shirt, says it's 'un-American'

Man harasses woman for wearing Puerto Rico shirt, says it's 'un-American'

An Illinois park is investigating after a woman accused one of its police officers of standing by as a man harassed her for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag, saying it was un-American.

Irizarry is shown in the video wearing a sleeveless shirt that is made to look like the Puerto Rican flag, and has the name of the US territory printed on it.

Mia Irizarry rented a pavilion at Cook County Forest Preserves in IL for an afternoon picnic on June 14.

The officer appears to finally engage and Irizarry can be heard saying, "OK, well how come you're saying something when [my brother's] going up, but when he was coming up to me, you didn't do anything?"

The man continued to criticize her, even as more cops arrived, saying, "You're not American, if you were American you wouldn't wear that".

A park officer is shown initially avoiding responding to the man, despite Irizarry asking for help.

"You should not be wearing that in the United States of America", he said.

He then asks her twice if she is a citizen, which she says she is.

She says a police officer was nearby, watching the encounter.

Irizarry responded by saying that Puerto Rico is part of the USA, and then asked an officer for help. He asks her if she is an American citizen, to which she responds that she is.

Mia Irizarry posted a video of the June 14 incident on Facebook and showed that she was wearing a shirt that looked like the Puerto Rican flag.


The unidentified "intoxicated" man who accosted the woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

And, adding a bit of customer relations to help make things right, the county gave Irizarry zoo passes to the Brookfield Zoo, which is owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

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.

"Are you a United States citizen?" he asked again, prompting Irizarry to say she is.

And politicians from Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico, condemned his idleness.

'People have just as much right to be here as you do, ' she can be heard telling him in the clip. "This guy's just walking up to me, he basically got in my face, damn near nearly touched me".

"This is America", he says.

‏"After the incident, we immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer", it said, in a series of posts on Twitter.

"We have worked very hard since 2010 to make the Forest Preserves of Cook County a welcoming and safe place for all", she tweeted.

Irizarry had rented a forest preserve pavilion to celebrate her 24th birthday and was issued a permit for the event. Puerto Rican residents have been American citizens since 1917 and have the right to vote in U.S. presidential primaries, but not in presidential elections.

Puerto Rico was hit by a devastating storm, Hurricane Maria, last September. "People need to understand that".

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