As seen in...
The Economist
The Atlantic
Washington Post
ABC News
National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Chicago Bartender Gets Her Day in Court — 5 Years Later

A drunk, off-duty cop, Anthony Abbate, beat up a petite lady bartender, Karolina Obrycka in 2007.  The video below went viral at the time.    The case is now back in the news because the civil lawsuit is now underway in Chicago.  The Chicago Tribune has the sordid details here.  Apparently, the key issue in the civil trial is whether the department engaged in misconduct in response to Abbate’s criminal attack.  In other words, did certain officers falsify reports, intimidate witnesses, and so forth.

One must consider what would have happened in the case if there was no videotape.  Before the tape was released, Abbate was charged with a misdemeanor.  After the tape surfaced, he was charged with a felony.  Even with the taped beating as evidence, and even after his criminal conviction, a judge ordered 2 years probation.  No jail time at all for Abbate.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-23-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 23, 2012:

  • Wallkill, New York: A state trooper has been suspended without pay after he was charged with assault and choking his girlfriend during a domestic dispute. He was also charged with unlawful imprisonment.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: A man is suing the police after he had to undergo surgery to repair a rotator cuff injury he claims was caused by their mistreatment. The man says that he wanted to photograph a car crash that damaged his fence and retaining wall, and the officer told him he could not. When the man asked to speak to his supervisor, the officer threw him to the ground, handcuffed him, and put him in the back of a patrol car.
  • Modesto, California: A police officer has been arrested on charges that he sexually molested a female victim under 18 years old. “I was shocked to learn of the allegations. No person is above the law and we will professionally investigate criminal complaints, no matter what the occupation of the suspect is,” said the interim police chief. “We have a high expectation of our employees and will hold them accountable for their actions, whether they are on-duty or off-duty.”
  • Flagstaff, Arizona: An officer who used his baton, book and a cable to kill an injured dog has resigned from the department right before the investigation was completed.
  • Whitaker, Pennsylvania: A police officer was charged with official oppression, attempted extortion, and related crimes. He was accused of using his gun to break a female driver’s window and threatening to send her to jail if she did not admit responsibility and pay the damage. Investigators found that “Officer Davis clearly provided (the woman) only two choices: accept total ‘responsibility’ for the incident … in which case Davis would not file any charges … or refuse to accept ‘responsibility’ and be charged. … This option … included the immediate threat of going to jail and the potential long-term negative impact on her employment.”
  • Update: New York, New York: The officer accused of stealing guns from his department and selling them on the street for drug money has pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: A man filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two officers, alleging that one of the officers made him do push-ups on the side of the road after the officers illegally searched his car and found no drugs. “The most fundamental rights in our society are those of civil rights,” said his attorney. “We take very seriously these rights, particularly when they are violated by those entrusted with enforcing the law.”
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer has been accused of assaulting his wife. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment, among other charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-22-12

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 20 to Monday, October 22:

  • Omega, Georgia:  The police chief was sentenced to two years in prison for slapping and punching an inmate at a county jail. “There was no excuse for this use of force on a restrained individual and excessive force by those sworn to uphold the law will not be tolerated. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute law enforcement officers who violate the constitutional rights of others,” said the Assistant Attorney General.
  • Lebanon, Pennsylvania: An officer was charged in a drunk driving crash. He crashed into a home with his BAC measuring .236, nearly three times the legal limit.
  • Kansas City, Missouri: The Platte County prosecutor has charged an officer with a felony of defrauding an insurer. Fraud unit detectives investigated the case.
  • Update: Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The police chief accused of covering up his girlfriend’s meth use was given 120 days of community service. He tried to cover it up by hiding her needles in his office, and has since resigned his position.
  • McAlester, Oklahoma: An officer has been arraigned and charged with felony assault and battery for allegedly tasing a handcuffed woman at point blank range. He pleaded not guilty, but if he is convicted he faces up to ten years in the state penitentiary.
  • Rowan County, North Carolina: A deputy has been fired after he was charged with stalking a former girlfriend. Investigators say he placed a tracking device on her car.
  • Madison, Wisconsin: A capitol police officer was fired after he accidentally fired his gun inside of the governor’s mansion. No one was injured in the accident.
  • Pennington Gap, Virginia: The police chief is in federal custody after being arrested on charges related to the distribution of prescription drugs. “It’s sad for the profession, but there’s no excuse for a corrupt police officer. He’s got the trust of the public, and with something like this, there’s no greater violation of that trust,” said Sheriff Gary Parsons.
  • San Jose, California: An officer was arrested and booked on one count of felony grand theft as a result of suspected time sheet fraud. He is currently on paid administrative leave.

National Police Misconduct Daily NewsFeed Recap 10-19-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 19, 2012:

  • Mayflower, Arkansas: The police chief was suspended pending the results of an investigation. It involved allegations that he turned in fraudulent paperwork for a radar speed gun class and test for his department.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer who was originally charged with endangering safety by a deadly weapon pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. His gun inadvertently went off and shot a girl in the mall because it wasn’t secured in his holster.
  • Brooklyn, New York: An off-duty police officer was arrested today for a domestic dispute that turned violent, authorities said. He was given a misdemeanor assault charge.
  • Winnsboro, South Carolina: A highway patrolman has been fired after he was charged with third-degree assault and battery against his ex-girlfriend. He reportedly grabbed the woman’s neck and shook her; officers observed bruising around her neck and face.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Two officers have been charged with assaulting a man after he fled a drug arrest and tried to hide in one of the officers’ girlfriend’s home. They are charged with second-degree assault of a man inside of a home.
  • Pinellas Park, Florida: An officer was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence with property damage. He was placed on administrative duty with pay immediately, and then resigned.
  • Spring Valley, California: An officer was arrested and jailed on suspicion of misdemeanor child cruelty. He exhibited a firearm in a threatening manner, according to jail records.
  • Hopewell, Virginia: A police officer who claimed he was the victim after authorities learned he used his authority to sexually assault three women was sentenced to serve six years in prison. “He was a predator with a badge and a gun, and I’m glad we were able to get him off the streets and put him where he belongs,” said the police chief. “He’s just a disgrace to the uniform.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-18-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 17 , 2012:

  • Washington, DC: A federal jury indicted an officer on nine counts, including assault with intent to kill while armed, in connection with a shooting that left one person injured as the officer allegedly tried to solicit a prostitute.
  • Hartford, Connecticut: An officer was arrested for a car crash that killed a 50-year-old man. He was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, traveling too fast for conditions, and failure to obey a traffic signal.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: Two police officer pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting bribes and face up to ten years in prison. They thought the men they were protecting were drug dealers, but actually were two undercover FBI agents posing as drug traffickers.
  • Houston, Texas: An officer was relieved of duty because of an alleged extortion scheme. He is accused of having cars towed and pocketing part of the money for himself.
  • San Antonio, Texas: A couple says that an officer who shot their dog in the jaw was at the wrong house. According to one of the owners the officer described how he told the pit bull to get back, and when he didn’t, he stepped back and fired his gun. However, the officer admitted that the pit bull never growled at him.
  • Update: Lansing, Michigan: An officer has been suspended from the force, after being convicted and sentenced for impaired driving. He was suspended three weeks without pay. This is “the maximum penalty less than termination that may be issued to an officer,” according to a press release issued by the department. “Officers are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner off duty as well as on duty as they represent the LPD. I expect only the best conduct from them, but most importantly the citizens of Lansing expect this of them as well,” said the chief.
  • Edinburg, Texas: A deputy was fired after investigators say that he was arrested for buying cocaine from an undercover officer.
  • Cherryville, North Carolina: The U.S. Attorney’s office says that three officers are facing corruption and bribery charges. They conspired to protect tractor trailers transporting what’s described as stolen goods and cash.
  • Dublin, Ohio: A police officer was fired as an investigation into a relationship with a teenage girl ended. The statement released by the department said he was fired for serious misconduct contrary to the core values and standards of conduct of the Dublin Division of Police.
  • Manchester, New Hampshire: An officer faces charges of reckless conduct and driving under the influence in connection with a car crash. He was off-duty, in his personal car at the time.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-17-12

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 17, 2012:

  • Lee County, Florida: A sergeant is off of the job after accusations came out that he told deputies to ignore extra work like traffic stops. He told them this after officers did not get a pay raise during union negotiations. “I understand that sometimes, people will disagree with decisions that are made – maybe they have ups and downs in their mood, but actually telling young aggressive deputies to do less than they’re expected to do is unacceptable,” the Sheriff said.
  • Berwick, Pennsylvania: An officer has been accused of providing alcohol to a 19-year-old girl. After she filed charges against him, the officer resigned.
  • Charleston, West Virginia: A former police officer accused of bribing a 17-year-old boy into sex has pleaded guilty to a bribery charge. Police said the officer — allegedly in uniform and on duty — met a 17-year-old boy in the parking lot of a supermarket, and tried to get the boy to perform oral sex on him to pay off a debt owed by the boy.
  • Tupleo, Mississippi: A state trooper has been accused of depriving a woman of her civil rights after an alleged “stomping” in the county jail. Acting “under color of law,” he is accused of assaulting the woman by throwing her on the concrete floor, striking her face against the floor, stomping her head against the floor and kicking her “without legal justification.”
  • Upper Marlboro, Maryland: A woman has said in court that a deputy raped her for 30 minutes in a courthouse holding cell while she was waiting for her court hearing. She reported the rape, and the officer admitted his involvement in the felony and has been indicted.
  • Update: Crookston, Minnesota: The North Dakota sheriff’s deputy who was charged in a break- in at a convenience store has resigned from his job as an officer.
  • St. Lucia County, Florida: A deputy received a 20-day suspension and was ordered to attend an anger management class after a road rage incident.
  • Molalla, Oregon: An officer has been charged with conspiring to help another person avoid filing as a registered sex offender. He was also charged with false swearing and official misconduct, and is currently on paid leave.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: Key evidence in a lawsuit showing that officers willfully neglected a woman was destroyed by officers. The sheriff’s office must now pay $3.25 million for her death while in custody. She was diabetic, and was denied insulin for three days while in jail. When she was finally taken to the hospital, she had entered a diabetic coma, and then died.

Police Go to Wrong House, Shoot Dog

From KSAT:

A local couple says a San Antonio police officer who shot their dog in the jaw early Sunday morning was at the wrong house.

Albert Morales said his brother, Hector Serna, woke him up before dawn after hearing the gunshot and then pounding on his window.

“I thought someone was trying to break in,” Serna said, since the officer never identified himself.

Serna and Morales said they went outside and the officer approached them saying there had been a 911 call about a deceased woman.

Morales then said the officer told him he was responding to the call from another family blocks away on another street, who had once lived in their house.

Morales said the officer then told him 20 minutes later to check on his dog.

H/T: Jonathan Turley blog


Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.