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Forest Preserve Holds Peace Rally After Racist Bullying Incident

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A positive, peaceful gathering took place at Caldwell Woods Forest Preserve, much different than the one that played out under the pavilion several weeks ago.

"A man was harassing a woman of Puerto Rican descent for wearing a Puerto Rican shirt," said Claudia Badillo of Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois.

The woman, identified as Mia Irizarry, recorded incident on her cell phone at Caldwell Woods in June.

"Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen? " the man questioned.

Irizarry can be heard responding, "Yes, I am a citizen. Can you please get away from me? Officer, officer, I feel highly uncomfortable," repeatedly asking Officer Patrick Connor, standing nearby, to do something about the incident.

In the video, you can see and hear Timothy Trybus verbally attacking Mia Irizarry for the Puerto Rican flag shirt she was wearing.

Trybus was charged with a hate crime.

Forest Preserve Officer Patrick Connor resigned after he failed to step in, despite Irizarry's plea for help.

"I can honestly say I feared for my safety," Irizarry told CBS 2 after the altercation.

Back at the preserve, messages of peace were etched on the sidewalk.

Organizers of the rally say the park is a place for everyone.

"This is not okay. This cannot happen. We need to step up and speak up for everyone," Badillo said.

"This is not what our community is about and we are better than this," stated Nora Flanigan of the Northwest Side Coalition against Racism and Hate.

Related Articles: 

Man Who Berated Woman In Puerto Rico Shirt Charged With Hate Crime

Woman Harassed For Puerto Rico Shirt While Cops Look On 

Woman 'Genuinely Fearful' After Puerto RIco Shirt Harassment Incident 

CBS 2's Political Analyst Irv Miller On Puerto Rico Shirt Harassment Incident 

Cop Resigns In Puerto Rico Shirt Dispute

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