A Chicago police officer who is charged with participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while wearing a Chicago Police Department sweatshirt is set to stand trial May 1, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Karol Chwiesiuk, 30, rejected an offer from federal prosecutors to plead guilty to a single charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s order. That agreement would have meant a maximum prison sentence of six months.
Nishay Sanan, Chwiesiuk’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment from WTTW News.
Chwiesiuk is facing five misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct, disrupting government business and entering a restricted building, according to court records.
Chwiesiuk was stripped of his police powers on June 2, 2021, and was charged June 11, 2021.
Chwiesiuk sent pictures of himself from inside the office of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), which was trashed, according to court records.
In text messages to a friend on Jan. 3, Chwiesiuk said he planned to go to Washington, D.C. to “save the nation,” adding that he planned to “f--k up some commies,” according to court records.
On Jan. 6, he texted the same friend that he was in D.C. and had “Knocked out a commie last night,” according to court records. Chwiesiuk also sent a photo to that friend in which he appeared to be wearing a CPD sweatshirt while standing outside.
In another text, Chwiesiuk said he “met j,” which the FBI believes to be a reference to former President Donald Trump, according to court records.
Chwiesiuk also sent a photo of himself inside the Capitol, telling the friend “We inside the Capitol lmfao,” according to court records.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said it “makes my blood boil, makes me sick to my stomach” that a Chicago police officer is charged with crimes in connection with the insurrection.
Approximately 900 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection, according to court records. More than 360 people have pleaded guilty to those charges as part of agreements that resemble the one offered to Chwiesiuk.
Both men who have already been tried for their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection have been convicted, and sentenced to more than seven years in prison, according to court records.