A Norfolk, Virginia, police officer was sacked after donating to a legal defense fund set up for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, officials said Tuesday.
Norfolk Police Lt. William Kelly anonymously gave $25 to a fundraiser for Rittenhouse in September, using his city email address, the Guardian reports.
Rittenhouse, 17, stands accused of killing two individuals who confronted him during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August. He maintains he was attacked and feared for his life when the activists came at him on the street and he shot at them in self-defense.
“You’ve done nothing wrong,” Kelly wrote in a message that accompanied the small donation, the Guardian outlined. “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Kelly, formerly the number two official in the Norfolk Police Department’s internal affairs division, was let go after an internal investigation found he acted in violation of city and department policies by sending the donation and personal side note.
The firing came 24-hours after it was revealed a Utah paramedic who contributed ten dollars to the same fund is now the victim of a media terror campaign, as Breitbart News reported.
Nolte: A Utah paramedic who contributed ten dollars to a defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse is now the victim of a media terror campaign. https://t.co/gPo1UkYvVI
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 19, 2021
“His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve,” City Manager Chip Filer said in a statement confirming the dismissal.
Others joined the chorus of disapproval in a case that has stirred controversy since it first became public.
“The alleged statement and action by a member of Norfolk’s Police Department is alarming and by all means not consistent with the values of our city or the standards set for our employees,” Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander said in a statement Friday.
The Washington Post reports Kelly has not publicly commented on the donation or the disciplinary action he has faced.
He can appeal the city’s decision, officials said.