Source AP ©

Chicago men sue bar over alleged police beating caught on tape

Four men who claim they were beaten by six off-duty Chicago police officers in an incident caught on tape, filed a lawsuit against the bar where the assault allegedly took place.

The lawsuit claims Jefferson Tap & Grille on Chicago's North Side did not provide security for its customers and "refused to intervene in the attack."

Police have declined to release the video of the alleged Dec. 15, 2006 beating, the Chicago Tribune reported in its Wednesday editions.

The lawsuit, on behalf of Barry Gilfand, Aaron Gilfand, Adam Mastrucci and Scott Lowrance, was filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims the bar served alcohol to the intoxicated police officers who "assaulted and battered plaintiffs with fists, feet and other objects, without warning and without provocation."

A message left at Jefferson Tap & Grill Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.

The six officers have been stripped of their police powers; they have not been charged.

The suit seeks at least $620,000 (EUR461,791) in damages.

The videotape is the second that has recently stirred controversy in the Chicago Police Department.

The other footage, which has played worldwide on the Internet and on cable news channels, shows a large man punching, kicking and throwing 24-year-old female bartender to the floor after she allegedly refused to continue serving him drinks.

In that incident, Anthony Abbate, a 12-year veteran of the force, is facing felony aggravated battery charges. The police department has also moved to fire him.

Police Superintendent Philip J. Cline unexpectedly announced his retirement earlier this month amid complaints about the department's handling of the misconduct allegations.

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