NPR logo

Violent Videos Put Chicago Police Under Cloud

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9248774/9248775" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Violent Videos Put Chicago Police Under Cloud

U.S.

Violent Videos Put Chicago Police Under Cloud

Violent Videos Put Chicago Police Under Cloud

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9248774/9248775" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Chicago Police Department is under fire over two incidents caught on videotape that allegedly show off-duty officers brawling in bars. Superintendent Phil Cline is moving to fire one of the officers involved, who has been charged with a felony.

Prosecutors are expected to announce any day whether they'll file charges against six officers in the second incident.

Superintendent Cline says he's sickened by the footage. "The past two weeks have been disheartening and embarrassing for me, personally and professionally," he said.

With his top brass standing silently behind him, the police chief faced questions Tuesday about the two incidents. Each involved off-duty cops, alcohol — and crucially, videotape.

In one case from February, security video allegedly shows Officer Anthony Abbate pummeling a female bartender. The video of the woman being pushed to the ground, kicked and punched in the head has been shown countless times on TV.

And in a little over a week, it has received over 300,000 hits on Youtube. Abbate is charged with battery and faces up to 5 years in prison. He and his lawyer have declined to comment for this story.

Chicago Public Radio's Ammad Omar reports.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.