Comedy of Errors
- The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office soft-pedalled the case against disgraced police officer Anthony Abbate, a senior cop testified Thursday morning as the Chicago Police Department fought back against allegations it tried to cover up the notorious videotaped attack.
But Deputy Chief Keith Calloway — the first witness called by the City of Chicago in its fight against a lawsuit filed by beaten bartender Karolina Obrycka — may have unintentionally hurt the city’s defense when he took the stand in Federal Court.
Calloway — a lieutenant in the police department’s Internal Affairs Division at the time of Abbate’s Feb. 19, 2007, attack on Obrycka — gave evidence that directly contradicted that of his boss at the time, Debra Kirby, and the evidence of two other IAD officers, further muddying the police department’s already confused account of its actions in the aftermath of the attack.
Wearing his dress uniform and addressing city attorney Matthew Hurd as “Sir,” Calloway said that the notorious viral video of the beating showed behavior by an off-duty Abbate that was “just unbelievable...that someone could be so evil and mean.”
At a meeting four days after the attack, Calloway said, he told assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Tom Bilyk that “this is a felony,” urging Bilyk to bring aggravated battery charges against Abbate.
But Bilyk told him, “I know it looks bad, but it’s not a felony,” Calloway testified, flatly contradicting Bilyk’s prior testimony.
So evidently, all the trial prep done for this disaster has been done solely by the plaintiff.
The City's only hope at this point is for the jury to not believe the political administrators would place such obviously incompetent people in charge of a major metropolitan police department who are incapable of putting together even the semblance of an organized conspiracy. And even though that's probably closer to the truth than anything we've seen thus far, we don't see it being an easy sell to a jury.