Federal authorities on Friday morning arrested a Chicago police officer for his alleged role in the Jan.6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, when hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump tried to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election.
Chicago Police Department officer Karol J. Chwiesiuk appeared remotely before US judge Gabriel Fuentes on Friday. Chwiesiuk faces charges of violently entering and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without legal permission.
At a press conference on Friday, CPD Superintendent David Brown said Chwiesiuk had been with the police for two years and had been on duty since his arrest.
According to a criminal complaint, FBI agents used geolocation data to learn that a device associated with one of Chwiesiuk’s Google accounts was present inside the Capitol on January 6.
FBI agents said they then got text messages Chwiseiuk sent to an acquaintance in the days leading up to the Capitol Riot in which he announced his travel plans.
“I’m going to DC,” he texted the acquaintance on Jan. 3.
“When and for what? knowledge responded.
“To save the nation. Depart tomorrow or the fifth, ”Chwiseiuk wrote.
The acquaintance urged Chwiseiuk not to go, writing, “The fat man has lost. Give it up, ”in reference to Trump’s electoral defeat.
Chwiseiuk was unmoved, responding in part, “I’m screwing up comrades.”
In a longer post, Acquaintance reiterated – with a skillful understanding of the law – how Trump lost the election, but Chwiseiuk was not interested.
“I haven’t read,” he replied. “Busy planning how to fuck up the Communists.”
The text message conversation resumed on January 6, with Chwiseiuk bragging about “knocking out a comrade last night”. (No other details of this alleged assault are included in the criminal complaint.)
Chwiseiuk then sent the acquaintance a selfie of himself – wearing a Chicago Police Department sweatshirt – standing next to a black man wearing a MAGA hat at a rally outside the Capitol.
“There are so many black people here that I am actually in disbelief,” wrote Chwiseiuk.
Later, Chwiseiuk sent a selfie of himself. “We are inside the capital Imfao,” he wrote.
“I know,” replied the acquaintance. “Guns were fired into the room after the window was smashed. Shit.
“Yes, I was there,” wrote Chwiseiuk.
Later that night, perhaps after the gravity of what he had done, Chwiseiuk sent another text. “Nigga don’t snitch,” he wrote to acquaintance.
According to the criminal complaint, FBI agents also spotted Chwiseiuk in several other photos taken inside the Capitol that day.
Chwiseiuk’s bail was set at $ 15,000 in court on Friday. He is prohibited from owning a firearm and traveling to Washington, DC
Chwiseiuk is at least the 18th law enforcement officer to be indicted for his role in the historic insurgency, according to a Washington Post tally.
CBS reports that around 50 people with military affiliations – who have also taken an oath to uphold the law and the Constitution – have also been arrested for violating the Capitol.
In total, federal authorities arrested nearly 500 people in connection with the insurgency. Another 300 suspects are featured in photos on the FBI website. Prosecutors say the cases could constitute the largest investigation in American history.
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