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Bartender awarded $850K in police beating

Nov. 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A federal jury in Chicago Tuesday awarded $850,000 to a female bartender whose 2007 beating by police officer Anthony Abbate was caught on security cameras.

Abbate was convicted in 2009 of aggravated battery and sentenced to probation for throwing Karolina Obrycka against a wall at Jesse's Short Stop Inn, then repeatedly punching and kicking her because she refused to serve him more alcohol. A video of the attack was posted on the Internet and went viral.

The jury held both the city and Abbate, who was off-duty at the time of the beating, responsible, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Obrycka's attorneys argued a "code of silence" among officers and their superiors embolden Abbate to attack Obrycka and protected him until video of the attack went public. Abbate is about twice the size of Obrycka, and plaintiff's attorney Terry Ekl warned the jury of eight women and three men during his opening statement the video is "graphic and brutal."

Obrycka said she was "speechless" when the verdict was read after two days of deliberations. "I am very happy justice was served. It's finally over."

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