A Virginia police officer who donated money to support a murder suspect in Kyle Rittenhouse was fired, authorities said Tuesday.
Lieutenant William Kelly, who worked in the internal affairs of the Norfolk Police Headquarters, was dismissed after he expressed his support for Rittenhouse and made an anonymous $ 25 donation to his defense fund. The officer’s message at the time read, in part, “God bless you. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You did not do anything wrong.
According to Norfolk police, Kelly was originally placed on administrative leave last Friday while officials investigated the former officer’s actions.
“Chief Larry Boone and I have concluded that Lieutenant Kelly’s actions violate city and county politics,” Chip Filer, the head of the Norfolk city, said in a statement. they swear to serve. The City of Norfolk represents the standard of conduct for all employees and we hold staff accountable. “
Rittenhouse, accused of shooting two men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests against police shooting of Jacob Blake, causes among conservative activists who believe he opened fire on August 25 for self-defense under the rights of a teenager.
In November, on a $ 2 million bond, he was released from Kenosha County Prison, which was mostly run by conservatives. MyPillow Inc. founder Mike Lindell and former “Silver Spoons” children’s actor Ricky Schroder played a key role in “putting us at the top” in raising bail, Rittenhouse defender Lin Wood said at the time.
Other donors appeared to include an ambulance in Utah and an engineer near the famous Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco.
“The police cannot do their job when the public loses confidence in those whose job it is to serve and protect them,” Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said in a statement announcing the dismissal of Kelly. “We don’t want the perception of any officer to undermine the relationship between Norfolk police and the community.”
Police say Kelly can file a complaint and appeal the city’s decision. He did not publicly comment on the donation or termination.
Reaching Kelly by phone was not successful on Wednesday.
Donna Mendell consented.