The Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police union is going to bat for one of its members who stormed the US Capitol and now might lose his job with the Chicago Police Department.
The revelation came in court filings one week after police who responded to the January 6 attack publicly blasted the union, and other unions, for not doing enough to support officers who protected the Capitol.
CPD Officer Karol Chwiesiuk was charged in June with two misdemeanors after breaching the Capitol and the office of Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley. Prosecutors said in charging documents that Chwiesiuk used the N-word when bragging to a friend about his actions at the Capitol that day, saying, “n—a don’t snitch.” He hasn’t yet entered a plea to the charges.
He wasn’t accused of violent crimes, so he was released by a judge and ordered not to have any guns in the home and to give up the firearm owner ID card that is required under Illinois law. But in new court filings, Chwiesiuk asked for permission to retake possession of the ID card, because he says he needs it to keep his job, even though he was moved to desk duty and doesn’t carry a gun.
The vice president for the Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police union sent a letter to court officials saying that the union will try to block Chwiesiuk’s possible firing and will “start the grievance process to get Officer Chwiesiuk into a pay-status” if he gets back his firearm ID card.
Daniel Gorman, the union official, said he sent the letter after Chwiesiuk asked for assistance, according to a copy of the brief letter that was included in court filings from Chwiesiuk’s lawyer.
Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather hasn’t ruled yet on whether to return the ID card.
This comes one week after some of the most well-known police officers from January 6 publicly rebuked the national Fraternal Order of Police union, accusing it of being uncharacterizable quiet about the insurrection.
Last week, DC Officer Michael Fanone, US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and USCP Sgt. Aquilino Gonell gave emotional testimony to the House select committee about their experiences defending the Capitol. They later said they were disappointed that national union hasn’t forcefully condemned the insurrection and done more to support the officers who responded that day.
In response, the national union pointed out that it condemned the violence while the attack was underway, and said it will “continue to offer our support, gratitude and love” to officers who responded on January 6.
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