Woman attacked by cop alleges police ‘code of silence’ led to cover-up
By Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune reporter
7:06 a.m. CDT, October 22, 2012
The shocking videotape showed off-duty Chicago police Officer Anthony Abbate throw a female bartender half his size against a wall in the Northwest Side tavern, slam her to the floor and pummel her with frenzied punches and kicks.
Weeks later, fearful for the bartender’s safety and that police had downplayed the seriousness of the beating, her lawyers released the video, sparking international outrage and one of the most embarrassing incidents in the Police Department’s history.
Now, almost six years later, bartender Karolina Obrycka’s lawsuit against Abbate and the city of Chicago is set to go to trial on Monday in federal court. While the videotaped beating remains the emotional center of the case, the trial will turn on whether Abbate, other officers and higher-level police officials engaged in a cover-up to try to protect the veteran officer and keep the damaging video from public exposure.