Feds offer plea deal to CPD officer charged in January 6 Capitol riot: court records


CHICAGO — Thirteen months after a Chicago police officer was accused of storming the United States Capitol as part of the Jan. 6 insurrection, prosecutors have extended the officer a plea deal, according to federal court records.

CPD officer Karol Chwiesiuk was arrested in June 2021 and charged with five misdemeanor counts of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or ground without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

During a status hearing in the case earlier this week, prosecutors disclosed that Chwiesiuk has been offered a plea deal, according to court records. The terms were not disclosed and Chwiesiuk’s attorney didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for August.

Since the charges he faces are misdemeanors and not felonies, Chwiesiuk would not automatically be precluded from working for the CPD even if convicted.

Chwiesiuk, 30, was hired by the CPD in 2018. Speaking at a press conference shortly after Chwiesiuk was arrested, CPD Supt. David Brown said he was “one of those officers we never should have hired.”

Brown also said that Chwiesiuk was on medical leave from the CPD at the time of the Jan. 6 riot.

Court file photo

“What happened in D.C. on Jan. 6 was an absolute disgrace,” Brown said last year. “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 and, yes, if these allegations are true, breaks my heart.”

In charging documents, prosecutors say Chwiesiuk drove from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021. He was among the mob that stormed into the U.S. Capitol, and Chwiesiuk was later photographed in the office of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), prosecutors allege.

Federal investigators also made public text messages sent to and by Chwiesiuk. In one of those messages, Chwiesiuk admits to entering the Capitol building before using a racial slur and telling another person: “Don’t snitch.”

Chwiesiuk was identified as a CPD officer after he was seen in photographs wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the CPD insignia on it, prosecutors say.

The CPD stripped Chwiesiuk of his police powers after he was arrested and he was later placed on no-pay status.

As of Thursday, the CPD’s internal investigation into Chwiesiuk was still ongoing, according to a department spokesperson.

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