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Abbate Juror: Panel Weighed Damages Against Ex-Cop, City Carefully

Anthony Abbate

Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate was sentenced to 41 months’ probation for beating bartender Karolina Obrycka in 2007. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – One of the jurors in the Anthony Abbate federal trial is explaining why the panel sided with the bartender the former cop assaulted in an infamous beating captured on surveillance video.

Mary Lou St. Aubin describes her fellow jurors in the Abbate civil trial as “the best.” She says they took the two-week trial very seriously and reviewed every bit of evidence presented to them carefully and thoroughly.

Ultimately, jurors ruled, they believed the police department’s so-called “code of silence” emboldened Abbate and other officers to try and cover up the crime. The city was also named as a defendant in bartender Karolina Obrycka’s lawsuit.

St. Aubin says they came to a fair and just decision amicably on both the verdict and the $850,000 award for Obrycka.

“We weren’t just going to slam any number down,” she says.

The panel carefully decided on that amount, she adds.

She and her fellow jurors decided not to comment on camera,  realizing the case would draw national attention.

It did, not only because the initial beating was caught on tape but also because the department’s code of silence was put on trial.

Wednesday, in a statement, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy responded in part, “I will never tolerate a code of silence in a department for which I am responsible.”

Mayor Emanuel’s spokesperson says the city will fight the verdict. The mayor would not talk about the case Wednesday.