A Chicago police officer broke into the Capitol in January and bragged in a text that he "knocked out a commie," new court filings show

·2 min read
US Capitol riot
Riots at the US Capitol Building. Michael Nigro/Pacific Press:LightRocket/Getty
  • A Chicago police officer was arrested on suspicion of participating in the January 6 Capitol riots.

  • Karol Chwiesiuk, 29, has been a member of the Chicago Police Department since December 2018.

  • Phone records show he texted someone saying he "knocked out a commie" on January 5.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A Chicago police officer was arrested on Friday on suspicion of breaking into the US Capitol on January 6 among a mob of pro-Trump supporters, according to the Department of Justice

Karol Chwiesiuk, 29, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Chwiesiuk is a two-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department and worked in the Harrison District of Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He previously worked for the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Court filings show the FBI first identified Chwiesiuk after the "FBI learned that a device" associated with Chwiesiuk entered the Capitol on January 6. Investigators obtained his phone records and discovered he messaged several people while inside the building.

After interviewing the people Chwiesiuk texted inside the Capitol, the FBI found texts from Chwiesiuk on January 3 saying how he was "busy planning how to f--k up some commies." On January 6, he messaged the same person to tell them he "knocked out a commie last night" but warned them not to tell someone whose name is redacted in the court filing,

Images of Chwiesiuk outside of the Capitol show him wearing a Chicago sweatshirt affixed with a Chicago Police emblem. He also texted a selfie and communicated with others inside of Sen. Jeff Merkley's office while simultaneously appearing in a live stream by Anthime Gionet, also known as Baked Alaska.

a selfie taken by Chicaho police officer Karol Chwiesiuk inside of the Capitol
A selfie taken inside of Sen. Jeff Merkley's office by Chicago police officer Karol Chwiesiuk Karol Chwiesiuk/Department of Justice

In a press conference on Friday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned Chwiesiuk's alleged role in the attempted insurrection. She said his involvement was "a total disgrace to the badge."

At the same conference, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said "participating in the siege on the Capitol in any way was a betrayal of everything we stand for."

"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," he said. "If these allegations are true, it breaks my heart.

At least 520 people have been charged with crimes associated with the January 6 riots. So far, two people: Jon Schaffer and Paul Hodgkins, have pleaded guilty.

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