CPD officer charged in Jan 6 attack turns down plea deal from prosecutors

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
CPD officer charged in Jan 6 attack turns down plea deal
Photos in the complaint allegedly show Chicago Police Officer Karol Chwiseiuk inside the U.S. Capitol, even inside a senator's office, on Jan. 6.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Karol Chwiesiuk is the only Chicago police officer charged with storming Capitol Hill on January 6th. He has been widely seen in a wide-eyed FBI screen shot that was snapped January 6th inside the U.S. Capitol.

The government says Chwiesiuk was with the mob that plowed inside America's Capitol, and was arrested for it a few months later. The I-Team has learned he has refused a deal from prosecutors, making him one of the few on a shrinking list of people willing to slug it out in court.

As Capitol police and DC Metro officers struggled to save America's governing center, and their own lives, a 29-year-old Chicago police officer, sworn to serve and protect, was doing neither, according to federal prosecutors.

RELATED: Chicago police officer charged in Jan. 6 attack to be offered plea deal by federal prosecutors

11th District officer Chwiesiuk was named in a federal criminal complaint five months after the Capitol attack. He was also the subject of biting comments from Chicago's mayor and police superintendent.

"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," Supt. David Brown said at the time of Chwiesiuk's arrest.

With nearly half of the 884 defendants from January 6th pleading guilty, Chwiesiuk's Chicago attorney says he will not, that he has turned down a plea deal from the government.

Prosecutors offered the sidelined CPD officer, and former Cook County deputy sheriff, this deal: plead guilty to one charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, and face a maximum six month prison sentence.

RELATED: Chicago police officer charged in January 6 attack on US Capitol

But the Capitol crasher who wore a Chicago police logo during that January insurrection said no thanks.

Photos in the complaint that authorities say show Chwiesiuk inside the Capitol, even inside a senator's office, along with text messages that allegedly reveal he used racial slurs, are likely to be used as evidence during a trial gamble that for now he's willing to take.

The DC court schedule has been set with numerous deadlines for evidence over the next few months. A trial date of May 1st has been set for next year.

Officer Chwiesiuk could always change his mind and join the growing list of January 6th defendants who would rather plead guilty than fight. However, for a police officer with a potential long career ahead of him, there are serious complications that a criminal record would bring. He's been stripped of his police powers by CPD and isn't being paid now. An acquittal at trial would undoubtedly make this great legal risk worth it.

During a virtual court hearing set for Tuesday morning, the two year veteran officer is expected to inform the court he has no intention of taking the deal offered by prosecutors earlier this summer, and will ask instead for a trial schedule and trial date.