Expert: Chicago Police Rarely Uphold Complaints

Number of complaints acted on in Chicago is below national averages, expert testifies

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    Sun Times
    Expert testimony stems from a lawsuit filed by a female bartender beaten in 2007 by off-duty officer Anthony Abbate.

    An expert testifying at a trial focused on whether Chicago police look the other way when one of their own is accused of wrongdoing said the number of complaints acted on in Chicago is below national averages.

    Testimony at the federal civil trial continues Friday. It stems from a lawsuit filed by a female bartender beaten in 2007 by off-duty officer Anthony Abbate.

    Steven Whitman testified Thursday that in major police departments elsewhere, 6 percent of excessive-force complaints were upheld in 2002. In Chicago, 2.7 percent were sustained from 1999 to 2004.

    In the two years before the beating, he says no officer in the district where it occurred was disciplined despite 147 complaints.

    During cross-examination, a city attorney tried to cast doubt on Whitman's methodology.