Jurors have ruled against the city of Chicago in a civil trial focused on whether its police adhere to a code of silence protecting fellow officers.
A federal jury reached the verdict Tuesday in a case brought by a female bartender who was beaten by off-duty officer Anthony Abbate. A video of the 2007 attack went viral.
Jurors awarded bartender Karolina Obrycka $850,000. Her lawsuit was filed against the city and Abbate.
Her attorneys argued that city tolerance of a police code of silence emboldened Abbate and created an environment that led to the beating of the woman half his size.
City attorneys had argued that there was no evidence such a code exists.
Experts have said jurors finding against Chicago would open the floodgates to similar lawsuits.