Chicago Police Superintendent Philip Cline arrounced his resignation this morning, reports the Chicago Tribune. Cline had been expected to retire later this year after more than four years as the department’s head, but problems in recent weeks apparently accelerated the timetable of his departure. Cline has been under fire recently stemming from the conduct of Officer Anthony Abbate and other officers who are accused of beating citizens in separate barroom incidents caught on video.
Facing the first major scandal, Cline has scrambled in the last week to control the damage, reassuring the public that he takes misconduct seriously. As the world was getting its first look at the grainy, graphic video of the burly Abbate pummeling a bartender, records showed that the Police Department had quietly filed misdemeanor charges against the officer a week earlier. Morale in the department has taken a heavy hit from the scandals. The videos of the beatings have found audiences around the world, played over and over by cable news stations and on Web sites.