They are both “equally offensive.”
“It was extremely surreal to think that someone whose job is basically to protect and serve … [would] completely walk away. It’s still pretty surreal,” Irizarry said, speaking Friday at her first press conference since the June 14 incident.
Irizarry was preparing to celebrate her 24th birthday at a rented pavilion at Caldwell Woods, when Timothy G. Trybus noticed her Puerto Rico flag shirt. He started yelling at her, asking among other things, if she is a U.S. citizen. As Trybus badgered her, Irizarry began taking a video on her phone, while calling out to the Forest Preserve officer for help.
“Mr. Trybus asked me twice if the shirt I was wearing is a Texas state flag,” Irizarry said, speaking to reporters in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.
Trybus has since been charged with two counts of felony hate crime. A judge released him on his own recognizance with electronic monitoring during a Friday court appearance in Skokie.
Patrick Connor, the police officer, has since resigned.
Irizarry, a veterinarian technician, said she wants the officer to be “held accountable — whatever that looks like.”
When asked who she found most offensive, Connor or Trybus, she replied: “They are equally offensive.”
She also wants Connor to apologize. Irizarry said the officer was a “coward” for resigning.
“I will never get to hear from this man, this protector, his reasoning for why my safety –– no, my life –– had such little value to him, why an American citizen could not reap the benefits of the police force when it was most needed,” she said.
Before the June 14 incident, Irizarry had little experience with racism, she said.
“I have never personally had an encounter with racism to this degree,” she said. “It was definitely an eye opener.”