A Chicago police officer has been arrested in connection to the U.S. Capitol riot that left five people dead.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 29-year-old Karol Chwiesiuk was taken into custody at his home Friday morning, more than five months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the government building. Federal agents reportedly used geolocation data to confirm that one of Chwiesiuk’s devices was inside the U.S. Capitol at the time of the insurrection. They also reviewed text messages in which the officer bragged to a friend about his involvement.
“I’m going to DC,” he purportedly wrote, prompting his friend to ask why. “To save the nation. Leaving tomorrow or the 5th.”
According to federal documents, the officer later texted a selfie seemingly taken outside the Capitol. He is seen posing with another man while wearing a beanie and a gray hoodie with the Chicago Police emblem.
“We inside the capital lmfao,” he wrote in a subsequent text.
Chwiesiuk made his first court appearance Friday and is now facing five misdemeanor counts, including disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and disrupting government business. He is reportedly the fourth Chicago resident to be arrested in connection to the Jan. 6 riot.
The Sun-Times reports the Chwiesiuk began working for the CPD in 2018, and was relieved of his police powers on June 2, shortly after his superiors learned about the charges.
”What happened in D.C. on Jan. 6 was an absolute disgrace,” Police Superintendent David Brown said during a Friday press conference. “The fact that a Chicago police officer has been charged in that attack on American democracy makes my blood boil … We have a zero tolerance for hate or extremism of any kind … If you harbor such ignorance, you should take off your star now and find another line of work. Or I will do it for you.”
Chwiesiuk will is scheduled to return to court next Friday for a status hearing.