A federal jury Tuesday found in favor of a female bartender who was beaten by an off-duty Chicago police officer in a notorious 2007 attack captured on security cameras, reports the city’s Tribune. Jurors held both the city and former cop Anthony Abbate responsible. The jury awarded the bartender, Karolina Obrycka, $850,000 in compensatory damages, which her attorneys will collect from the city, they said after the verdict.
Obrycka contended during the trial that Abbate, other officers and higher-ups tried to cover up and minimize her February 2007 beating as part of an unofficial “code of silence” policy within the department. The trial in federal court came nearly six years after Abbate attacked Obrycka at Jesse’s Short Stop Inn when he went behind the bar. The videotape of Abbate pummeling a woman about half his size marked one of the most embarrassing chapters in recent police history and contributed to the resignation of then-Superintendent Philip Cline. Abbate went into a rage when Obrycka tried to prevent him from coming behind the bar. “Nobody tells me what to do,” Abbate was heard proclaiming on the videotape repeatedly played in court during the three-week trial.