An officer from the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia was fired Tuesday for anonymously donating $25 to 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund, The Daily Caller reports.
Sgt. William Kelly, executive officer of the Norfolk Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division reportedly donated the $25 anonymously on September 3, 2020, to Rittenhouse’s defense fund and was fired as a result, Wavy news reported.
19-year-old Kelly is said to have written along with his donation, ‘God bless. Thank you for your courage. 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’s donation was traced through his email address and The Guardian published a list of public employees who donated to various funds on a crowdfunding website called GiveSendGo, which was the target of a data breach. GiveSendGo shared the donation information with several other police officers and public officials.
— WAVY TV 10 (@WAVY_News) April 20, 2021
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.”