A Chicago Police Department officer was arrested and charged Friday for his alleged role in the Jan.6 riots on Capitol Hill, according to the city’s police chief.
Karol J. Chwiesiuk, a 29-year-old Chicago Police Department officer, was arrested by FBI and CPD agents around 8 a.m. local time and charged with five felony offenses Friday afternoon, including entering or knowingly staying in a restricted building and violent entry. or disorderly conduct on Capitol Hill, according to Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown.
Brown said Chwiesiuk was removed from his police powers on June 2, as soon as federal authorities informed the ministry of their investigation.
“The fact that a Chicago police officer was indicted in this attack on American democracy makes my blood boil, makes me sick, and yes, if these allegations are true it breaks my heart,” said Brown. .
“To participate in the Capitol siege in any way was a betrayal of everything we stand for,” Brown said. “Trust is hard to gain and therefore, so easy to lose.”
Timothy Grace, Chwiesiuk’s attorney, did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.
At a press conference Friday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounced participants in the riots.
“Seeing what happened on January 6 broke me because this place should be sacred ground,” Lightfoot said of the Capitol, accusing former President Donald Trump of fomenting “lies” to avoid admitting that he “had lost”.
“The CPD should and always must hold officers accountable for their actions, on and off duty, and this time it will be no different,” Lightfoot said.
According to the criminal complaint, Chwiesiuk’s alleged role was identified through mobile Internet recordings obtained “in the course of legal proceedings”.
After identifying the Google Account that pinged from the Capitol on January 6, federal investigators wrote that a “search for publicly available resources identified the accused as an employee of the Chicago Police Department.”
The tapes showed an email from the organizers of Stop The Steal, geolocation data indicating a drive from Chicago to Washington, as well as physical location records showing the suspect entered the Capitol with rioters.
The criminal complaint contained selfies allegedly taken and shared by Chwiesiuk from inside the Capitol. He reportedly sent around 36 photo messages inside the complex.
The FBI viewed text messages with an anonymous contact in which Chwiesiuk dismissed arguments that Trump lost the election, replying, “I haven’t read. Busy planning how to fuck up commies,” according to a criminal complaint .
At the press conference, Mayor Lightfoot criticized the Chicago Police Union chief who congratulated attendees immediately after the riot with comments that he then tried to come back.
Hundreds of people have been indicted by federal investigators for their alleged roles in the U.S. Capitol Riots, which nearly interrupted a formal constitutional process that finalized President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Trump after weeks of efforts by the former president to question his electoral defeat. .
Notably, a number of off-duty police officers outside of Washington, DC participated in the riots. Several died in the chaos.
NBC News reported in May that the FBI is still pursuing suspects it considers “the worst of the worst.”
Retired officers from the New York City and Houston Police Departments have been arrested and charged in connection with the riot. Thomas Webster, a former NYPD member, reportedly wore a bulletproof vest and was prepared for “armed conflict” during the attack.