Chicago police officer denies downplaying bartender beating

October 30, 2012

The Associated Press

A high-ranking Chicago police officer has testified at a trial focused on whether officers protect fellow officers accused of wrongdoing.

Debra Kirby denied Tuesday that she ever downplayed a 2007 investigation into the beating of a female bartender by off-duty Chicago officer Anthony Abbate (ah-BAHT'-ee).

A video of the attack went viral nationwide and became a major embarrassment for the Chicago Police Department. The bartender is suing the city in a federal civil trial.

Kirby is still a police officer and headed the department's internal affairs division at the time.

Kirby's time on the stand was contentious at times. The plaintiff's attorney, Terry Ekl, at one point asked her sharply, "Would you answer my question please?" She shot back, "Would you ask a question I could answer."