Chicago hopes to erase landmark ruling in police case
By The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 9:08 p.m.
CHICAGO — The city of Chicago is asking a judge to erase a landmark verdict that found there exists a code of silence in the police department that leads officers to protect rogue colleagues — a legal move that critics say is calculated to deny others suing over alleged police abuse from citing the decision as a precedent.
The motion was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago, a month after jurors at a civil trial returned with a verdict against the city and for bartender Karolina Obrycka. A videotape of off-duty officer Anthony Abbate beating Obrycka in 2007 caused a sensation after it went viral on the Internet.
One aspect that makes the motion unusual is that Obrycka joined it. The advantage to her is that, if the joint request is granted, Chicago will pay $850,000 in damages awarded to her by jurors immediately, rather than stringing out the litigation for years on appeal.
Attorneys who had heralded the Nov. 13 verdict criticized the city's legal maneuver on Tuesday.
“It's outrageous,” said Flint Taylor, a Chicago-based attorney. “The city forced the plaintiff to trial, there's a finding about there being a code of silence — and the city turns around and tries to buy itself out of the jury's finding as if it never happened.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- White House flops: Obama knew uncle
- FBI: Russian diplomats lied to get U.S. benefits
- Snowy owls travel south
- From prison to presidency, Mandela reformed South Africa, ended apartheid
- Illinois overhauls its public pensions, cutting benefits for most workers, retirees
- VA fears budget cuts will reverse drop in homelessness
- New York City commuter train derailment kills 4, hurts more than 60
- Wash. woman tweets of crash death, finds out it’s husband
- Bratton returns to lead New York City police force
- Deep freeze in Midwest to last through weekend
- Georgia cops suspended for cussing out rowdy bus of schoolkids