Bartender: Officer Who Attacked Was Protected By ‘Code Of Silence’

CHICAGO (CBS) — The claim that Chicago Police officers practice a code of silence to protect fellow cops is up in federal court again, this time in connection to the infamous case of former officer Anthony Abbate.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, a federal court jury will hear the allegation from bartender Karolina Obrycka, after Abbate was caught on video brutally beating her back in 2007 at the Northwest Side bar where she worked.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

Obrycka is now suing Abbate and the City of Chicago. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ruled that the jury in her lawsuit will hear the allegation about the code of silence.

In an earlier filing, Obrycka said she told officers who responded after the beating that she was attacked by Abbate, and she gave the officers his full name. She said it was all caught on tape.

But Obrycka claims the officers officers omitted Abbate’s name from the report because they didn’t want to deal with him.

The City of Chicago is disputing that Obyrcka provided Abbate’s name, but acknowledges she did say her attacker was a police officer, and that it was caught on tape.

The responding officers later said they couldn’t recall if they knew at the time the attacker was a cop. Both were disciplined, but the city denies they lied so as to protect a fellow police officer.

The city did admit that the Independent Police Review Authority did find the officers violated a department rule, but didn’t specify what penalty, if any, they received.

Abbate attacked Obrycka, who is half his size, on Feb. 19, 2007, when she refused to serve him more drinks at Jesse’s Shorstop Inn, 5425 W. Belmont Ave.

Abbate was initially charged with simple battery, but the charges were upgraded to felony aggravated battery after the surveillance video of the attack went became a national sensation. He was also accused of trying to bribe Obrycka to keep quiet.

While Abbate’s actions had few defenders, some, including many rank-and-file police officers, said the attack only constituted simple battery and that the charges were only upgraded because Abbate was a police officer.

The fallout from the attack eventually led Supt. Phil Cline to resign. He was replaced by FBI veteran Jody Weis, who in turn was supplanted by current Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Observers also complained when Criminal Court Judge John Fleming sentenced Abbate to probation and spared him prison time in 2009.

Abbate was fired from the Police Department when he was convicted.

  • Silver

    My God enough is enough.

    • Alfred J. Deacons

      I agree! This case should have been laid to rest long ago!

  • Joey

    Sadly, the liars and protectors of the bad players within the Chicago Police Department have been winning the conversation for many decades. It is disrespectful of every good law enforcement officer amongst CPD. They can’t speak up and get respect for doing the right thing. Frankly, doing the abusive and disrespectful thing is elevated to a position of integrity by these criminals amongst their ranks. The “whistle blowers” find themselves out of their jobs quickly. Abbatte is the poster child for what is wrong with Chicago’s law enforcement system. His bullying wins. Serving the good people of Chicago loses. It is our system. Jody Weis recognized this for what it is. We see what happened to him by the bullies within the system. It won’t change until a Jody Weis type management system is empowered to do what must be done.

    I applaud this lawsuit, but don’t hold much hope for very much change. One lawsuit is not enough. CPD is diseased and needs a complete overhaul. And, officers like Abbate simply need to be out looking for work in other enterprises.

  • Chicago

    The Judge that gave Abate NO JAIL TIME deserves punishment as well.

    • Alfred J. Deacons

      I don’t think jail time is appropriate for a simple assault where the victim walked away. If we threw everyone who fights in jail, there wouldn’t be any room for the violent homies when they need the space!

      • Giovanni

        Alfred, do you really think that what had happenned to that lady is simple assault?
        I wouldn’t be suprised if you are one of those cops responding to the call on that night, or Abbate himself.

      • Joey

        Thanks, Giovanni. The usual tactic is to pretend as if the crime isn’t significant. Any police officer who assaults another should be held to a higher standard. We depend on the police to protect us. And, they wonder why some people don’t trust the Chicago Police Department. Alfred’s comment speaks volumes about the trust issue, as I see things.

  • truth

    Police should face upgraded charges for any crime they commit.

    Double penalty.

    People become police officers IN ORDER to commit crimes.

    THEY are the criminals.

    If the charges for cops were doubled the crime rate amongst them would go from 100% to 50%.

    Cops become cops to commit crimes.

    If you see the police, you are looking at criminals.

    • Alfred J. Deacons

      Really? All police are criminals? I never knew that! People become cops to commit crimes? I never knew that either! I think the real truth, mr. truth, is you are a police hating idiot that doesn’t know what the hell you are talking about!

  • tom sharp

    Again I ask, a rhetorical question how many smart people that you went to school with became cops? Answer: ZERO!!!

    • Pamala E.

      Neither of has any insider information regarding this investigation or Mr King’s work history with the credit union. So, we only have his word regarding his firing. But even if he is right about the reason that’s one detective or perhaps two, if he had a partner. I don’t think you could have enough facts to back the pejorative beliefs that you have. Sorry, but I doubt you know enough cops to even have a good sampling. Nice try though.

    • Pamala E.

      Obviously your circle is limited.

      • tom sharp

        example 5,678 of stupid cops just posted.

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        You are here: Jobs > Articles & News > Credit Union Employee Loses Job After Police Suspect Him In Murder
        Credit Union Employee Loses Job After Police Suspect Him In Murder
        By David Schepp , Posted Feb 24th 2012 @ 3:15PM Text Size A A A



        A Maryland man who was a suspect in a Washington, D.C., murder case is pondering his legal options after he was fired from his job because of the homicide investigation.
        Doug King of Accokeek says that he was let go from his job as a loan processor earlier this month after a detective investigating the murder called his employer to say that King was a suspect in the case, Washington TV station WTTG reports.
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        King’s attorney, Bruce Johnson, says it wasn’t necessary for the department to call his employer, the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. Credit Union, because King’s job wasn’t related to the murder.
        “The incident didn’t occur near his job,” Johnson says. “There was no reason to call his job other than to harm Mr. King.”
        King was at the Heritage India Club in Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood last November when a fight broke out, leaving 34-year-old Jhonte Coleman dead.
        King was there to celebrate a birthday, he says, and dropped his driver’s license while running to safety. It was the lost license, found near the victim’s body, that led D.C. police to suspect King of the murder.
        King denies knowing Coleman or anyone else involved in the incident or why the fight broke out.
        King says that he cooperated with the investigation because he had nothing to hide and never considered that it might lead to him losing his job.
        “I’m furious,” WTTG reports King as saying. “It’s hard to get a job right now, and for me to lose it over something I had nothing to do with — that makes it worse.”
        The U.S. Attorney’s office eventually issued a statement to King’s employer clearing him as a suspect, the TV station reports.
        But King still seeks more than that, he says, because the detective had no business calling his employer.
        “No one’s called to apologize to Mr. King,” Johnson says. “And no one’s taken any steps to repair his life.”
        Attempts to reach the NAPUS credit union for comment about King’s dismissal weren’t successful.

    • Pamala E.

      Tom, you clearly weren’t one of the “smart people” in your school. Making ridiculous generalizations like this isnt what the “smart people” do.

      • tom sharp

        It’s true for me and no one I know has ever contradicted it (and i know a lot of cops!!!)

  • Afro

    I don’t know why they say, Chicago is the most corrupt city in the nation it’s just not fair.

    • Afro


  • Zman

    Police are given a bad rap sometimes. Just like Doctors, one won’t rat on the other. In this case, he should go to jail. The drunk that killed that young person also got off, only because he was a policmen. He also should be in jail.
    The judges should be held accountable for their actions. They do what ever they want because they live by the same code as cops.

    • Afro

      Zman the one thing they all have in common is they are all government officials thats like asking the Government to police itself, yet maintain a separation of powers. This is where the power of the vote has to come in to play, but we should call on the Feds to make sure our states have a fair voting system in place and prosecute the voter fraudulent people.

  • The real James Hamilton

    DECATUR, Ill. (CBS) — A downstate lawmaker would like to kick Chicago and Cook County out of the Illinois.
    CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall says state Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Decatur) finds that Cook County dominates all politics and legislation in Springfield, and he thinks it is time for the state to cut its largest population center adrift for the “betterment” of the rest of Illinois.
    He says Cook County should be allowed to exist apart from the state like the District of Columbia, with its own government.

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