Legal observers say a civil trial in Chicago focused on an alleged police department code dictating officers protect fellow officers accused of wrongdoing could be precedent-setting.
The trial entered its second day Tuesday. It stems from a lawsuit filed by a female bartender beaten by off-duty officer Anthony Abbate (ah-BAHT'-ee) in 2007. It names him and the city.
Chicago-based defense attorney Kathleen Zellner says a finding against the city could help her and other lawyers with clients alleging police abuse win their cases.
She says a victory for the city could further embolden police.
But Zellner predicts the city will lose - and lose big.
City attorneys say there's no evidence of such a code. And they've said police have a track record of promptly investigating allegations of officer misconduct.