No jail time for batterer in blue

08Jul09

Chicago police officer Anthony Abbateoriginally published: 2nd July 2009

Anthony Abbate, a Chicago police officer who senselessly assaulted Karolina Obrycka, a 5-foot-3, 115-pound bartender, won’t serve a single day in jail. This incident is the latest chapter in the history of violence by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) against working-class Chicagoans.

The February 2007 beating took place at a bar called Jesse’s Shortstop Inn, and was caught on videotape by a security camera. The tape shows off-duty police officer Anthony Abbate, who weighs 250 pounds, savagely assaulting Obrycka, a 26-year-old Polish immigrant working as a bartender. Abbate is clearly intoxicated and can be seen throwing Obrycka to the ground and repeatedly pummeling her.

After the brutal assault, however, the CPD’s “code of silence” was in full force. According to the Blue Must Be True Web site, which tracks and reports on police abuse:

Back on the day of the incident, immediately after Abbate left, a friend of his came in the bar and offered money to Obrycka if she would not prosecute. Police just might “find” some drugs in Obrycka’s car or the bar owner’s car if she didn’t keep quiet, Abbate’s friend allegedly said. Obrycka declined the bribe, ignored the threat, and called the police.

Four uniformed officers arrived. One sat at the bar and ate pretzels while another one recorded license numbers off the jukebox and other machines in the bar. The bar is not allowed to operate the jukebox and other accessories unless they pay for city licenses to do so. Perhaps it was important for the officer to make sure the city was getting its cut.

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