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Judge won’t set aside ‘code of silence’ verdict

CHICAGO — A judge refused Thursday to toss out a jury verdict that suggested Chicago police adhere to a code of silence in protecting rogue officers, citing its ‘‘social value’’ despite allegations by the city that the verdict could cost Chicago millions in other litigation.

The ruling involves the case of Karolina Obrycka, a local bartender who was attacked by a drunk off-duty police officer as she worked in 2007. Obrycka sued the city after the beating, which was caught on video and went viral online, and a jury ruled in her favor last month.

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But along with awarding her $850,000, jurors strongly suggested in their verdict that they agreed the officer, Anthony Abbate, was protected by an unwritten code of silence among Chicago police.

The city asked US District Judge Amy St. Eve to throw out that element of the verdict, arguing it could be cited as a precedent — and potentially cost the city millions of dollars fighting and losing lawsuits citing the same ­alleged code.

The city said it would still pay Obrycka the full jury award.

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