Norfolk, VA – A Virginia state lawmaker has called for the reinstatement of a former Norfolk Police Lieutenant William Kelly, who was fired for making an anonymous $25 donation to Kyle Rittenhouse, after the 18 year old was found not guilty on all charges.
“Firing Lt. Kelly sets a bad precedent for all law enforcement in Virginia,” Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves wrote in a letter to Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone after the Rittenhouse verdict was announced, Virginia Scope reported.
“Please do the right thing and restore his employment in your department,” Reeves strongly urged the police chief in the letter.
The Republican lawmaker, who is a former Prince William County police officer and currently serves as an auxiliary sheriff’s deputy in Culpepper County, accused Chief Boone of being a hypocrite in the letter because the chief himself marched with Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020, Virginia Scope reported.
“There appears to be a double standard here when you yourself marched with BLM in your duty uniform to show support for their cause. I find it absolutely unacceptable,” Reeves wrote.
The lawmaker told Virginia Scope that it was his personal experience as a law enforcement officer was what made him get involved with what had been done to former Lt. Kelly in Norfolk.
“The real reason is I am still a law enforcement officer,” Reeves explained. “I think it is clear hypocrisy.”
The lawmaker said he reached out to the former police lieutenant to offer his support and get his permission before he went public with his letter to the Norfolk police chief, Virginia Scope reported.
The veteran police lieutenant was fired by the Norfolk Police Department after hackers released a list of names of people who had anonymously contributed to the legal defense fund of Rittenhouse on the crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo, The Guardian reported.
The data breach revealed that numerous active-duty police officers and public officials had donated money to help the teenager charged with the murder of two rioters during the Jacob Blake riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August of 2020.
Supporters raised $586,940 in the fall of 2020 to help cover Rittenhouse’s bail and pay his attorneys’ fees for what the teenager claimed was self-defense.
The data was released to The Guardian by the transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDOS) and showed personally-identifiable data of some of the donors who chose to conceal their identities using the site’s “anonymous” feature.
The “anonymous” donors’ information was saved in GiveSendGo’s system and when hackers breached the site’s security measures, they were able to capture that data, including donations that tracked back to official email addresses, The Guardian reported.
The report revealed that Lt. Kelly, the executive officer of the Norfolk Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit, contributed $25 to the fund anonymously.
“God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong,” Lt. Kelly wrote when he made the contribution, The Guardian reported.
“Every rank and file police officer supports you,” the lieutenant continued the message. “Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Chief Boone initially called for an administrative investigation “to ensure department policies and procedures were not violated,” WTKR reported.
Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander released a statement that condemned the lieutenant’s actions and then the police chief recommended the veteran law enforcement officer’s termination on April 20, WAVY reported.
“A police department cannot do its job when the public loses trust with those whose duty is to serve and protect them,” Chief Boone said in a statement after Lt. Kelly had been fired. “We do not want perceptions of any individual officer to undermine the relations between the Norfolk Police Department and the community.”
The former lieutenant joined the Norfolk police force in 2002 and was previously head of the law enforcement agency’s K9 unit.
Conservative commentator Candace Owens launched a fundraiser for former Lt. Kelly the day after Rittenhouse was acquitted, Virginia Scope reported.
Owens announced on her show on Monday that the fund had raised more than $245,000 in under three days and presented the former police official with a giant check.