An officer from the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia was fired Tuesday after his anonymous donation to 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense fund was uncovered.
Sgt. William Kelly, executive officer of the Norfolk Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division reportedly donated $25 anonymously on September 3, 2020, to Rittenhouse’s defense fund and was fired as a result, Wavy news reported.
Included in Kelly’s donation were comments such as, “God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong,” as well as, “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by the actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Kelly’s donation was able to be traced through his email address due to a reported breach of information from the donation site, GiveSendGo, which shared the donation information with several other police officers and public officials, Wavy noted.
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Chip Filer, the Norfolk City Manager, explained in a statement that he had relieved Kelly of his job after being advised by Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone, according to Wavy.
“I have reviewed the results of the internal investigation involving Lt. William Kelly. Chief Larry Boone and I have concluded Lt. Kelly’s actions are in violation of City and departmental policies,” Filer’s statement read. “His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard for behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable.”
Rittenhouse was charged with murder in August 2020 after he shot two people during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In January, Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to six charges which included first-degree intentional homicide and attempted international homicide.
Twitter defended their decision on Tuesday to not censor users for sharing articles with hacked information about people who donated to the defense fund for Rittenhouse.