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The Mechanics

Anthony Abbate Jr. Fri Dec 07 2012

Intervention Allowed in Bar Beating Case

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Two lawyers who handle cases of police misconduct were given the go ahead by a federal judge on Friday to intervene on behalf of the public good to stop the City of Chicago's attempt to have the "code of silence" judgment of the notorious videotaped assault on a bartender by an off-duty Chicago police officer vacated.

The City of Chicago argued that the case as it stands would be detrimental to the public, taxpayers and the city, because it would open the floodgates of litigation against the City and the police department. City attorney Scott Jebson argued that the "risks of misusing the judgement in future cases" could be costly.

"We don't want the judgment improperly used," Jebson said.

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Anthony Abbate Jr. Wed Nov 14 2012

The Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial: And This Verdict Means What Now?

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

When a federal jury on Tuesday found in favor of Karolina Obrycka and found the City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr. responsible, and awarded her $850,000 in compensatory damages, Obrycka said she was glad that justice had been served.

Her plans now are to get on with her life and put the incident behind her, her lawyer Gustavo Munoz said. Munoz added that she's still terrified of Abbate, even though she hasn't had any contact with him except during legal proceedings. In fact, she's terrified of the police and of men she doesn't know, Munoz said.

"She'll only deal with cops in a public setting with other people around," Munoz added.

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Anthony Abbate Jr. Wed Nov 07 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial: Summation of the Summations

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Holding up a DVD of the infamous bar beat-down as a reference, the plaintiff's attorney, Pat Provenzale, stated that the city "came this close to walking away from getting one of the biggest black eyes in its history."

During the next two very long hours, Provenzale discussed the case at length against both the City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr., reiterating how there is allegedly a code of silence ensconced within the police department and how that code was enacted immediately following the attack on Karolina Obrycka by then-police officer Abbate in February 2007. The second part of the suit claims that Obrycka's First Amendment rights were violated when Abbate and his friends allegedly attempted to block her from releasing the video of her attack, which, if released, could damage the reputations of both the police department and Abbate.

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Anthony Abbate Jr. Mon Nov 05 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial Roundup

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

During the past two weeks, the Anthony Abbate, Jr. civil trial has kept an audience of three to 15 people riveted with sparkling testimony peppered with more answers of "I don't recall" and more sidebars than seemed humanly possible. What was presented that wasn't dull was mounds and mounds of evidence — or not — depending on which side you're on.

The focus of this trial is whether or not a code of silence was at play immediately following the incident at Jesse's Shortstop Inn in February 2007.

We've heard the testimony of both the main people in this trial: Anthony Abbate, Jr. and Karolina Obrycka. Also, we've heard the testimony of friends and former coworkers of Abbate, which caused a few watching to ponder why the former Chicago police officer had such lousy friends.

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Mechanics / Comments (1)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Mon Oct 29 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial, Day 6: Police Expert & the Plaintiff Take the Stand

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Former Los Angeles Police Officer/Sergeant/Lieutenant/Commander and finally Deputy Chief of Police and now police misconduct expert, Lou Reiter, testified today in the Obrycka vs. The City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr. civil trial. Reiter has worked all over Los Angeles in the LAPD and at one point oversaw roughly 1,500 officers. Also during his long career with the LAPD, he investigated employee misconduct within the force. He made disciplinary recommendations, aided in setting up a standards and practices guideline for the force that was eventually a model for all police departments in the US. Reiter was employed by the LAPD from 1961 to 1981, and then he moved to Tallahassee, FL in 1983 to become a police consultant.

In other words, it's safe to say that Reiter knows the police business. So far, he's the plaintiff's most important witness since he's a big believer that code of silence exists within the Chicago Police Department. What about this case stuck in Reiter's craw? Well, he wasn't too fond of the time not long after the attack when two investigators showed up at Obrycka's house with a blank misdemeanor battery arrest report for her to sign. Oh and the cops leaving Jesse's Shortstop Inn the night of the incident without even looking at the video tape bugged Reiter, too. The 22 days when none of Abbate's bosses had a clue as to where he was wasn't a good thing either, according to Reiter.

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Anthony Abbate Jr. Fri Oct 26 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial, Day 4, Part 2 and Day 5: Searching for Jack McCoy

anthony abbate jr civil trialby Julia Gray

Thursday, Day 4 Continued

Turns out that Anthony Abbate's childhood friend, city truck driver Gary Ortiz, is a self-proclaimed "phone-aholic." He's also friends with Patti Chiriboga and Abbate's girlfriend Linda Burnickas, and he used to dig on hanging out at Jesse's Shortstop Inn. In fact, he liked Jesse's so much, he ended up there the night of the incident right after it happened. No, he wasn't summoned by either Abbate or Chiriboga, he heard it on his police scanner that the cops were at the bar doing a "license check."

That makes me want a scanner too, but I hear they're tough to come by these days.

A "license check" you ask? Yes, according to Ortiz who heard the term from his pal Abbate, whenever cops are called to a bar for whatever reason, it's protocol to make sure the establishment's liquor license is up to date because if it isn't, it could spell a whole lot of ick for the owners. I mean, they'd then have to figure out which palms to grease in order to update the license, see. (Fortunately for Jesse's, the license was good to go.)

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Anthony Abbate Jr. Thu Oct 25 2012

Anthony Abbate Civil Trial, Day 4 Part 1: That's What She Said ...Maybe

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Today is one of those days where it's best to work backwards and break it up into two stories because, yes, this particular part of the tale of woe is a definite two-parter.

The day ended with the testimony of fellow bartender and Linda Tripp look-a-like for the aughts, Patti Chiriboga. Or rather, both Mr. Ekl and Ms. Rubens, attorneys for the plaintiff and the City respectively, read her March 2007 grand jury testimony back to Chiriboga to which today's responses varied from "If you say so, yes" to "I don't recall" to "Yes" to "I guess so."

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Anthony Abbate Jr. Tue Oct 23 2012

Anthony Abbate Civil Trial, Day 2: Code of Silence -- Fact or Fiction?

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

The crux of the Karolina Obrycka's case against the City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr. revolves around the "code of silence" that allegedly permeates the Chicago Police Department.

Sounds like the stuff great fictional crime novels are made of, right?

According to experts, this code does exist — but it is not unique to law enforcement. It's common in all professions, says Dennis Waller, a police practices consultant and expert witness from Brookfield, WI.

"There is academic research that supports this contention as well as judicial research. There is a tendency within professions to take care of your own," Waller says. Waller, a former police officer, has been a consultant since 1988.

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Mechanics / Comments (2)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Mon Oct 22 2012

Court Report: Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial, Day 1

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

"He was a man, in a bar, getting drunk."

Anthony Abbate Jr. said he felt threatened by Karolina Obrycka when he pummeled and threw her around Jesse's Shortstop Inn in Chicago on February 19, 2007. But, as City attorney Matthew Hurd explained at the beginning of Abbate's civil trial today, he doesn't remember because he was drunk.

But, on the same night roughly around the time Obrycka was about to get her beat-down, Abbate does remember moving a barstool from one side of the bar to the other because it was more comfortable than the stools on that side of the bar. But he doesn't remember punching his friend three times, according to Abbate's testimony today.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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