Police Officer Fired for Donating $25 to Kyle Rittenhouse Legal Fund
Virginia cop Lt. William Kelly 'relieved of duty' for supporting teenager
A Virginia police officer has been fired after having reportedly donated $25 to Kyle Rittenhouse's legal defense fund, according to reports.
Lt. William Kelly from Norfolk, Va., was "relieved of duty" following an investigation into his donation to a legal defense fund for Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot and killed two armed Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wis., last year.
Kelly is also accused of pledging support for the actions of Rittenhouse, who is widely believed to have acted in self-defense.
The now-ex-cop made the $25 anonymous donation to the fund through GiveSendGo, according to The Guardian.
The outlet notes that the Christian crowdfunding site suffered a major security breach that led to the email addresses, of people who had made donations to Rittenhouse's fund, being exposed.
Kelly also allegedly left a message to Rittenhouse with his donation.
"God bless. Thank you for your courage," Kelly wrote, according to the British newspaper.
"Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong.
"Every rank and file police officer supports you.
"Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Kelly was fired this week, officials said.
"I have reviewed the results of the internal investigation involving Lt. William Kelly," Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer said in a statement, according to Norfolk local news outlet WAVY.
"Chief Larry Boone and I have concluded Lt. Kelly’s actions are in violation of City and departmental policies.
"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 of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable."
The move came on the heels of the Guardian report that named police officers and public officials who donated to Rittenhouse's legal fund.
Boone, in a statement of his own, asked the public not to lose faith in the department following the revelations about Kelly's donation.
“A police department cannot do its job when the public loses trust with those whose duty is to serve and protect them,” Boone said.
“We do not want perceptions of any individual officer to undermine the relations between the Norfolk Police Department and the community.”
Rittenhouse is facing homicide charges and a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession. He has pleaded not guilty and has argued he was acting in self-defense when he shot the protesters.