Federal authorities have arrested a Chicago police officer for his alleged role in breaking the US Capitol in January, which interrupted the electoral college vote count and led to an extended criminal investigation.
Karol J. Chwiesiuk, charged with five offenses, appeared remotely on Friday before U.S. Judge Gabriel Fuentes in Chicago, where he was given $ 15,000 unsecured bail.
Fuentes also ordered Chwiesiuk to surrender his FOID card and not have a gun or keep guns in his house while he awaits his trial. Nor can he go to Washington.
Three days before the Capitol uprising, Chwiesiuk wrote to a staff member that he was “busy planning how to dissolve clerks” during a conversation about unsuccessful lawsuits filed to challenge the results of President Joe Biden’s election, said federal prosecutor. He then allegedly traveled from Chicago to Washington and joined the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th.
In a text message from January 6th, he is said to have boasted that he “turned off a commie last night”. Chwiesiuk also took photos of himself in the Capitol – including inside the building – while wearing a tan hoodie with a Chicago police logo on the chest, according to the criminal complaint filed in court on Friday.
In another message, Chwiesiuk wrote, “There are so many blacks here that I really disbelieve” and in a message the following week about his presence in the Capitol, he wrote a racist slander and wrote, “N – a don’t snitch “. the lawsuit alleges.
A selfie that Chwiesiuk sent in a text message during the uprising shows him in the office of US Senator Jeff Merkley. Chwiesiuk was also identified in several other photos as being inside the Capitol.
Chwiesiuk was arrested at around 8 a.m. on Friday.
Chwiesiuk has been deprived of police powers and given desk duties, according to his attorney Tim Grace, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 who represents ordinary CPD officials.
Chwiesiuk was hired by the CPD in December 2018 and lives on the Northwest Side with his parents, Grace said. He previously served as a deputy in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
Most recently, Chwiesiuk was assigned to the Harrison District on the West Side, Grace said.
Chwiesiuk is at least the tenth Illinois person indicted in connection with violating the U.S. Capitol, and he is fourth on that list from the Chicago area. Earlier this week, federal authorities indicted Christian Kulas of Kenilworth in connection with the violation.
The Washington, DC federal prosecutor’s office also filed substitute charges against Kevin J. Lyons this week, bringing additional charges against the Chicago man originally charged in January for his alleged role in the violation.
Hundreds of people across the country have been indicted and an incredible amount of evidence has been collected in connection with the riot in the US Capitol. Prosecutors have said this will likely be the largest investigation in US history.