Bartender Beaten by Chicago Cop Takes Witness Stand

National expert on police misconduct says code of silence was "alive and well" in the CPD

The bartender who endured a brutal attack by an off-duty Chicago police officer took the stand Monday in the civil trial against the city and its police department.

Karolina Obrycka told jurors that the beating by Anthony Abbate in a northwest side bar in 2007 was so vicious that she thought she would never again see her son.

She also testified that Abbate told her boss that he would plant drugs on bar workers and give DUIs to the customers if she did not turn over video of the attack.

"I remember he said, 'Nobody tells me what to do,'" said Obrycka.

The trial stems from a lawsuit she filed against Chicago and Abbate, who was convicted of aggravated battery in 2009 and sentenced to probation. At issue is whether Abbate and the city are liable for damages to compensate Obrycka for any pain or distress she suffered.

Obrycka contends the police department and the city invoked a "code of silence" to protect Abbate.

Also on the stand Monday was a national expert on police misconduct. Lou Reiter said the unofficial code of silence was "alive and well" within the department.

Abbate last week testified he didn't remember the attack because he was drunk and told the court that he never implored officers to cover up the incident.

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