Chicago's top cop: 'Code of silence' not tolerated
CHICAGO – Just before the beating of a female bartender by an off-duty Chicago police officer persuaded him to end his own career, then-police Superintendent Phil Cline said the officer caught on videotape had "tarnished our image worse than anybody else in the history of the department."
Nearly six years later, a federal jury has not only awarded bartender Karolina Obrycka $850,000, it also concluded that Chicago police adhere to a code of silence to protect their own. It found that it wasn't just one drunken off-duty cop who tarnished the department's image, but that others on the force were willing to play down or even hide a brutal attack.
The verdict has led to demands for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked police chief, Garry McCarthy, to take action, with Emanuel and McCarthy making it clear that they will. For McCarthy, the challenge is to sort out what came out during the trial, including questions about how seriously the head of the department's internal affairs unit who is now one of his top aides took the allegations against officer Anthony Abbate.
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