Chicago police officer Karol Chwiesiuk decided to participate in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that resulted in five deaths, including a police officer, and left a nation unnerved. All in a Chicago Police Department hoodie.
That’s the allegation contained in a 19-page criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors Friday, charging Chwiesiuk with two counts of illegally entering a building and three counts of violent and disorderly conduct in connection with the riot.
He appeared remotely before Judge Gabriel Fuentes Friday, where he was placed on a $15,000 bond. He cannot possess a weapon nor travel to D.C., Fuentes ordered. His arrest was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during a press conference Friday that the riot was an affront to the values of the CPD.
“The fact that a Chicago police officer has been charged in that attack on American democracy makes my blood boil, makes me sick to my stomach,” Brown said, according to the Associated Press.
Chwiesiuk is the fourth Chicago resident to be charged in connection with the riot and the second this week, following the arrest of Burberry-clad rich guy Christian Kulas on Wednesday. He’s the sixth active-duty cop to be charged with attending the riot, according to a tally kept by The Appeal.
During the court hearing, Chwiesiuk’s attorneys said he had been placed on desk duty and stripped of his police privileges, but they pushed back on the idea of a third-party custodian, noting his previous awards for Police Officer of the Month and a commendation he was expected to receive in the near future, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The complaint alleges Chwiesiuk was supremely invested in the outcome of the presidential election, texting a friend of ten years three days before the insurrection that he was set to travel to D.C. for Congress’ Jan. 6 certification of the election results to “save the nation.”
That friend, who was interviewed by the FBI, urged him to back off his ideas, telling him to “give it up” and calling former President Donald Trump a “fat man child lost.” But, according to the criminal complaint, Chwiesiuk said he couldn’t bother to read the response because he was “busy planning how to fuck up commies.”
The FBI obtained GPS data of Chwiesiuk’s movements, noting he left Chicago on Jan. 4 and arrived in D.C. on Jan. 5, where he stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in a room booked under his sister’s name. He then went to the Capitol that night to survey the security barriers, the complaint says, telling that same friend the next day that he “knocked out a commie.” (There’s no indication this claim was true.)
On the day of the insurrection, Chwiesiuk—dressed in a cream CPD hoodie—remained in communication with that friend, sending him pictures of people like the Naked Cowboy and other rally participants.
“We inside the capital lmfao,“ he later texted. A selfie showed Chwiesiuk in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) during the insurrection, the complaint said.
About a week later, Chwiesiuk texted that same friend, including a racial slur: “Don’t snitch.”
Two other men faced criminal complaints Friday for their alleged involvement in the insurrection. Robert Morss, of Pennsylvania, was charged with four felonies, including attacking a police officer and obstruction of a law enforcement act. In his charging documents, Morss, a graduate of Penn State University, is accused of ordering rioters with shields to build a “shield wall” to break into the Capitol.
In interviews with the FBI, some witnesses indicated Morss, who was decked out in military gear during the riot, may have mental health issues due to his previous stints in the military, the complaint says.
Minneapolis resident Brian Mock was also charged with attacking and obstructing police officers in connection with the riot, among his four charges.
Body-camera footage allegedly showed Mock attacking Capitol Police officers with their own shields, and victim testimony pointed to him as the perpetrator, the complaint says.
A Facebook comment Mock allegedly left two days after the attack said he “went to the Capitol not knowing what to expect.”
“I held my own and then some when I watched Capitol police beating women and old men,” he wrote. “When faced with real men, free men, brave men, they fled with fear and tears in their eyes.”
If convicted, some of Mock’s charges could earn him up to 10 years in prison.