A federal jury ruled Tuesday that Chicago Police have obeyed to the code of silence when protecting fellow officers after a lawsuit was filed by a female bartender who was videotaped being beaten by an off-duty officer. Jurors awarded the bartender, Karolina Obrycka, $850,000 in damages who was beaten by Officer Anthony Abbate in 2007.
Abbate was off-duty and admittedly drunk at the time of the beating. Surveillance footage of the incident showed Abbate pushing Obrycka to the ground, kicking, and punching her behind the bar as well. Abbate was convicted of aggravated battery in 2009 and sentenced to probation. Obrycka asked jurors in civil court to hold Abbate and the city of Chicago liable for damages to compensate her for pain and distress she experienced from the incident. The issue that is yet to be decided is whether the police culture gave him the courage to ultimately act with impunity in attacking the innocent bartender.