Chicago police officer Anthony Abbate is in more trouble:
Chicago Police Officer Anthony Abbate, accused of beating a female bartender in an attack caught on videotape, was charged in an indictment Friday with 14 new felonies…
My first thought when I about the 14 new charges was that this was just the department piling on to prove they’re tough on bad cops. How do you get 14 felonies from one beating? It sounded excessive.
But then it started to make sense:
According to the indictment, a woman acting as an intermediary for Abbate told a man, whom Obrycka’s attorney Terry Ekl identified as the bar manager, that Abbate or other police officers would plant illegal drugs on bar employees or customers and arrest them if the videotape of the beating was used against him.
Ekl said Friday that the bar manager made an audiotape of that conversation with the woman, whom he said was a bar employee and friend of Abbate. The day after the beating, Ekl said, Abbate told the bar employee that he already had run the license plates of the bar manager and Obrycka through police databases, and added that if they turned the tape over to authorities, police might find drugs in their cars or in the bar, or Abbate would harass patrons.
Abbate was charged with seven counts of official misconduct, one count of communicating with a witness, three counts of intimidation and three counts of conspiracy.
This is what I was talking about in my previous post. Beating up the bartender was a crime, but it had nothing to do with Abbate being a cop. He was just another drunken jerk. It was just a stupid crime, abetted by alcohol. It’s the sort of thing where you think maybe he can clean up his act.
Intimidating witnesses is a whole different level of criminality. It’s intentional, premeditated, and cold-hearted. When it involves threatening to falsely arrest innocent people on drug charges, it’s also an abuse of police powers. When several officers are involved, it’s a criminal conspiracy within the police department.
Maybe 15 felony counts is about right.
(Hat tip: gideon)