Three Chicago Cops Charged for Alleged Videotaped Beating Four Businessmen in Bar

Three Chicago police officers were charged Tuesday in an alleged fight with four businessmen at a city bar that authorities say was caught on videotape, officials said.

The three were among a group of six off-duty officers involved in the incident at the Jefferson Tap and Grille in the West Loop on Dec. 15.

Sgt. Jeffrey Planey, 33, was charged Tuesday with obstruction of justice, aggravated battery and official misconduct, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokesman John Gorman. Officers Paul Powers, 25, and Gregory Barnes, 39, were charged with aggravated battery, Gorman said.

Gorman said the officers turned themselves in Tuesday evening and would remain in custody until a Wednesday bond court appearance.

Chicago police spokeswoman JoAnn Taylor did not have immediate comment but expected the department to release a statement Wednesday.

Taylor did not know whether the officers had attorneys Tuesday night. Attempts by The Associated Press to leave messages at listings for the officers were unsuccessful.

In a federal lawsuit filed this month, the four men allege six officers attacked them while they were playing pool at the bar. They contend they suffered broken ribs, broken facial bones, injured vertebrae and bruises, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Gorman declined to comment on the three other officers Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges that one of the off-duty officers, a sergeant, waved off on-duty officers who responded to a 911 call from the bar.

The lawsuit, which names 16 police personnel — including Planey, Powers and Barnes — and the city of Chicago as defendants, also alleges that after they contacted the department's Office of Professional Standards, officers intimidated them.

The allegations against the officers surfaced shortly after another videotape was made public that allegedly showed another Chicago police officer beating a woman bartender Feb. 19.

That tape, which was shown around the world, allegedly shows Anthony Abbate, a 12-year department veteran beating the bartender less than half his size after she apparently refused to serve him.

Abbate initially was charged with felony battery by prosecutors who later charged him with more federal counts after he allegedly tried to intimidate witnesses.

The department came under harsh criticism for the way the incidents were handled.

Since then, Superintendent Phil Cline has announced his intention to retire. Mayor Richard Daley also has proposed an ordinance that calls for the agency that reviews police misconduct allegations to report directly to him instead of the police superintendent.