Anthony Abbate Trial Summary

The Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women is pleased to report that the Police Review Board has decided that Anthony Abbate will be discharged. While this is not the ideal punishment for a violent felon, we are pleased that the board recognizes that Abbate is not fit to serve in this city. This decision sends the message that Judge John Fleming could not: the abuse of women and girls in Chicago must stop! The police are not above the law!

We wish the best for Karolina Obryka and her family.

Click here to read the decision…

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Respondent, Police Officer
Anthony Abbate, Star No. 18601, as a result of having been found
guilty of charges in Police Board Case No. 08 PB 2676, be and
hereby is discharged from his position as a police officer with
the Department of Police, and from the services of the City of
Chicago.

Chicago NOW was present at the final police review board trial. Be sure to read our summary in the blog section.

Anthony Abbate Trial Summary

Chicago NOW attended today’s long overdue police review board trial of Anthony Abbate.  The entire proceeding lasted from approximately 10:45am to 3pm.  I was able to see Anthony, Karolina and several other key witnesses and we learned some new and interesting details.

The transcript and video of the trial will now be turned over to the board, who will review the trial and make a decision when they meet in December.  Hopefully there will not be a delay due to the holidays.

The first person to take the stand was Anthony Abbate.  He’s just as large and red-faced in person as he seems on TV.  He invoked his 5th amendment right and refused to answer any questions.  One can only assume that his reluctance to answer questions is due to the fact that he is appealing his conviction.  During the questioning, the prosecution showed various video clips from the day of the assault beginning at 4pm, when Abbate originally came to the bar, and ending around 8:30 or 9pm when he fled after the beating.

The video is much longer than anything that has been released in the news.  It chronicles the entire day beginning with Anthony entering the bar early in the evening and immediately attacking his friend Mike.  Apparently Mike had insulted Anthony’s dog earlier that day, so Abbate came into the bar to both verbally and physically assault Mike.  The bartender on duty at the time, Peggy, tells Abbate to leave after the altercation.

Around 2 hours later Abbate returns to the bar and appears to be intoxicated.  It’s not clear if he was already drunk earlier in the day.  He’s shown drinking a high ball, some beer and then taking shots.  He spends most of the night singing off key to the Eagle’s greatest hits and harassing his friend Jimmy by punching him, putting him in a headlock and repeatedly taking his hat… yeah, taking his hat away.  As the woman next to me remarked, this is not my kind of fun.  After a while, Jimmy goes to the other side of the bar to avoid Abbate’s obnoxious behavior.

Apparently this was the first time that Karolina and Abbate had met at the bar although he was a regular patron.  As one can assume, Abbate tries desperately to win the attention of Karolina by calling her pet names and paying her empty compliments.  As he drinks, he starts playing a game where he flexes his muscles and announces that he’s Chicago Police… it’s really gross.  He continues to “flex” and tries to tempt Karolina to touch his body, but she’s really not interested in playing along and attempts to ignore his requests.

Abbate makes two attempts to come behind the bar; the second attempt results in the brutal beating of Karolina.  What shocked me even more is that we now know that the patrons in the bar were all acquainted and none of them attempted to do anything to intervene with the beating outside of telling Abbate that he should stop.

Most of the witnesses, including the victim of the first assault and the other bar tender, pled the 5th and refused to answer questions.  However, we did get to hear belligerent arguments and accusations from Mike, Abbate’s friend and victim.  He was really the least pleasant person I have ever encountered and I get the feeling that he’s hiding something.  Mike began with his outrage over the lack of bottled water and ended by accusing the prosecutor of plotting against him and ruining his pheasant hunting trip.

The most interesting details learned during the trial:

  1. Abbate allegedly sent a friend to try to pay off Karolina before she filed charges.
  2. Abbate threatened to harass patrons and intentionally give out DUI’s to exiting patrons when he learned that the bar owner intended to release the security tape.
  3. Abbate knew he was being taped while the beating occurred.  His friend Jimmy told him he was on camera just before delivering the first punch to Karolina.
  4. Abbate allegedly threatened to plant cocaine on the other bartender, Peggy, who came to Karolina’s defense.

The prosecution delivered closing arguments and now we will wait for the Police Review Board to review the tapes and make a decision.  The Board only meets once a month, so we will likely hear back from them in December or January.

CNOW will keep you posted as more details develop…

Sen. Al Franken Succeeds in Passing an Amendment to Protect Victims of Sexual Assault!

A female employee of Halliburton/KBR was gang raped by her co-workers in Baghdad and then locked in a shipping container when she attempted to report the crime.  She was allowed to return home due to intervention by her US Representative, Ted Poe.  However, due to a clause in her Halliburton/KBR contract, she was unable to face her rapists in court.  The contract forced her to settle the matter out of court in arbitration.

Thankfully, Junior Senator Al Franken was paying attention!  He proposed and has now passed Senate Amendment 2588 which prohibits government contractors from forcing employees to resolve legal matters in arbitration.

Senate Amendment 2588 passed on a vote of 68-30. Read the text here.

Murder in the Name of Honor – Rana Husseini Book Signing

October 19th @ 7 pm
The Book Cellar
4736 N. Lincoln Avenue

Sponsored by:
Amnesty International USA
Chicago NOW

Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini, who has written extensively about honor killings of women (women killed by male relatives because of perceived “unchaste” sexual behavior) will be in the U.S. to promote her new book Murder in the Name of Honor. She will be speaking and signing her book on October 19 at 7 pm at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue at an event sponsored by Amnesty International USA and the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She will be introduced by Rafia Zakaria, a member of Amnesty International’s Board of Directors and an expert on women and Islamic Law.

Feminist and human rights defender, Jordanian Rana Husseini is a leading international investigative journalist whose reporting has put violence against women on the public agenda around the world. The recipient of numerous awards for bravery in journalism, she is a regular speaker at major international events. She has also appeared at the World Organization Against Torture at the 57th Commission on Human Rights in Geneva and she has been interviewed by almost every major international broadcaster from CNN to the BBC.

Ratify CEDAW – Call Your Senators August 26th!

The United States remains the only democracy in the world that has not ratified the CEDAW treaty, putting our country in the company of nations such as Iran, Somalia and Sudan. One hundred eighty-six countries, over 95 percent of United Nations members, have ratified CEDAW. It provides a fundamental framework for ending international violence against women, ensuring girls access to education, and promoting economic opportunity and political participation for women. The U.S. is long overdue in ratifying it.

The CEDAW treaty for the rights of women, formally known as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, provides a universal standard for women’s human rights.  It addresses discrimination in areas such as education, employment, marriage and family relations, health care, politics, finance and law.

Full Text of CEDAW

Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support ratification of the CEDAW treaty for the Rights of Women today!

SAMPLE MESSAGE

As your constituent, I am calling to urge you to support immediate ratification of the CEDAW treaty for the rights of women, which is critical to ending violence against women and girls and to providing economic opportunity.
SAMPLE E-MAIL

Dear Senator,

I am writing to urge your support for women’s human rights globally by ratifying the CEDAW
treaty for the rights of women.

The CEDAW treaty provides a universal standard for women’s human rights. It provides a fundamental framework for ending international violence against women, ensuring girls access to education, and promoting economic opportunity and political participation for women. To date, 186 countries have ratified CEDAW. The United States is the only democratic nation that has failed to do so, and as such is in the company of countries such as Sudan, Iran and Somalia.

The United States should strive to be a leader and set an example for the rest of world in its
commitment to women and expanding women’s rights.  I urge you to work to ensure immediate ratification of the CEDAW treaty.