Roundtable: Viral Video, Gubernatorial and Mayoral Races

A hearing has been set for Thursday for the Cook County Forest Preserve cop who stood by as woman was harassed in Caldwell Woods over her Puerto Rican flag T-shirt.

Officer Patrick Connor has been on desk duty since the June incident involving Mia Irizarry and Timothy Trybus, who harassed Irizarry and questioned her citizenship in a video that’s gone viral on social media.

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Politicians are apologizing to Irizarry and condemning the attack. 

“We’ve worked hard over the last 7.5 years to make the Forest Preserve District a welcoming place for all,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“The incident in June is completely unacceptable. I apologize to the young woman who had this terrible experience. I’m troubled by the response of the initial officer on the scene.”

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez wants the Justice Department to investigate the incident to see if federal civil rights charges are warranted. “There's a culture of bigotry and hate that's been condoned in the U.S., which now feels unleashed to express itself in the most ugly and aggressive ways,” Gutierrez said in a tweet. 

“In this case, a U.S. citizen questions the citizenship of another U.S. citizen and American law-enforcement just sits back and watches.”

Even the governor of Puerto Rico has weighed in on the incident. “I am appalled, shocked and disturbed by the officer’s behavior,” said Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Twitter.

Joining us tonight to talk about the political implications of this incident and the latest in the gubernatorial and mayoral races are Mike Flannery, the political editor at FOX 32 News; Dave McKinney, state politics reporter at WBEZ; and Laura Washington, a political analyst for ABC-7 News and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Related stories:

Viral Video Puts Spotlight on Cook County Forest Preserve

Gov. Rauner’s Answer to Chicago Violence

Emanuel on Term Limits, Chicago’s Affordable Housing Challenges

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