An officer in Southeast Virginia was fired after reports revealed he made a donation and expressed support for Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two people during protests against the Jacob shooting Blake by the police last summer.
Norfolk Police Lt. William Kelly was ‘relieved’ on Tuesday after a data breach showed his email address was linked to an initially anonymous $ 25 donation to the Rittenhouse Legal Defense Fund , according to The Guardian.
Rittenhouse, 18, is accused of killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, at the end of August 25 during protests in Kenosha, Wis., For police firing two days earlier from Blake, a black man. man who remained paralyzed.
“God protect you. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You haven’t done anything wrong,” Kelly commented of the fundraiser, which was on a Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo, according to the Guardian.
“Every base police officer supports you,” the commentary continues.
“Do not be put off by the actions of the political class of law enforcement officials.”
According to the Guardian, Rittenhouse raised $ 586,940 through this fundraiser between August and January.
Government officials said his actions were in violation of government policy.
“His blatant comments erode trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they have sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable, ”City Manager Chip Filer said in a statement.
Kelly was first put on administrative duty on Friday, the city said. He can appeal the dismissal. It was not immediately clear if Kelly had a lawyer representing her who could comment on her behalf.
Kyle Rittenhouse trial for two fatal shootings in Kenosha delayed in November
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“The alleged statement and action of a member of the Norfolk Police Department is alarming and in no way conforms to our town’s values or the standards set for our employees,” Norfolk Mayor Kenneth said on Friday. Cooper Alexander, in a statement.
Clay Messick, president of the local police union, told local newspaper The Virginian-Pilot that the decision to fire Kelly, who was not a member of the union, was “disappointing”.
“We were hoping for a full and transparent investigation,” he told the newspaper. “But after 72 hours, I don’t think that’s what we got.” ′
Rittenhouse’s trial was set for November 1 of this year last month. He has been out on bail since November 20, after his former civilian lawyer released $ 2 million donated by supporters who see him as a patriot or poster boy for the Second Amendment.
According to the Guardian, the GiveSendGo website has been used to raise funds by far-right groups like the Proud Boys who have been banned from better-known sites like GoFundMe.
Contributing: Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press