Criminal Justice

Chicago Upholds Far Fewer Excessive Force Complaints than Other Cities, Witness Testifies


Security camera footage.

Most cities uphold on average 6 percent of excessive-force complaints against police officers, but in Chicago, only 2.7 percent were upheld, a witness testified Tuesday, in a federal civil case involving an off-duty officer convicted of beating a female bartender.

The numbers reflect a time period between 1999 and 2004, a Mount Sinai Hospital epidemiologist testified for plaintiff Karolina Obrycka. Her action, according to the Chicago Tribune, alleges that the city’s police department disciplines few officers, and there’s a large “code of silence” that protects bad cops from punishment. The defense questioned how the witness’ data was collected.

In 2007, Obrycka’s lawyers released a video of Anthony Abbate beating her at the bar where she worked. The release came shortly after Abbate, then a Chicago Police officer, was charged with a misdemeanor. Following the video’s release his charges were upgraded to felonies, and he was convicted of aggravated battery. He was later fired from the Chicago Police Department.

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