A Virginia cop has been fired for anonymously donating $25 to Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal fund with a note saying ‘you’ve done nothing wrong’.
Norfolk Police Lt. William K. Kelly lost his job after a hack revealed the names of those who gave money to help with the 18-year-old’s costs.
Rittenhouse is accused of killing two protesters and wounding a third during a demonstration against police brutality in Wisconsin last August 25.
Kelly, who was second in command in the Norfolk Police Department’s internal affairs division, is said to have written: ‘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.’
City Manager Chip Filer said: ‘I have reviewed the results of the internal investigation involving Lt. William Kelly. 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.’
Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander added: ‘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.’
Kelly has not commented. The 19-year veteran can appeal the decision.
Rittenhouse (left) is seen with his lawyer (right) during a court appearance in January
According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse (pictured on August 25), traveled to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, on August 25 after a local militia posted an online message seeking help protecting businesses from protesters
City Manager Chip Filer said: ‘His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve’
His firing came just hours before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Union president Clay Messick called his firing ‘disappointing’, adding: ‘We were hoping for a full, transparent investigation. But after 72 hours, I do not believe that is what we got. It is hard to call this fair.’
Conservatives have rallied around Rittenhouse, painting him as a symbol for gun rights and suggesting he acted in self defense. They generated money to help with $2million bail in November.
He has been seen in bars with right wing group the Proud Boys and allegedly flashed hate symbols in pictures. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all counts and argued he fired in self-defense.
Kyle Rittenhouse is is accused of killing two protesters and wounding a third during a demonstration against police brutality in Wisconsin. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and argued he fired in self-defense
Norfolk police chief Larry D. Boone had said Tuesday: ‘I want the residents of Norfolk to know that their police department will represent and uphold our organizational values of Service, Honor, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Diversity.
‘A police department cannot do its job when the public loses trust with those whose duty is to serve and protect them.’
Rittenhouse’s trial was last month pushed back by until November and could be delayed even longer.
His trial was scheduled to begin March 29, but both sides told a judge that they needed more time to prepare.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder set a November 1 trial start date, with a May 17 status hearing.
Rittenhouse faces multiple felony counts, including reckless homicide and reckless endangerment.
He also faces a misdemeanor count of being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Rittenhouse appeared with his attorney during the court hearing broadcast over Zoom.
He only spoke when the judge asked him if he had any problem with the delay, which would push his trial start to more than a year after the shootings.
‘No, your honor,’ Rittenhouse said. He was seated behind his attorney and wearing a mask.
The judge cautioned that the trial could be pushed back even further, saying the November date was ‘not written in stone’.
Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum (right) and Anthony Huber (left) during a demonstration on August 25. He is also accused of shooting Gaige Grosskreutz in the arm. Grosskreutz survived
According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse, traveled to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, on August 25 after a local militia posted an online message seeking help protecting businesses from protesters.
Kenosha was in the throes of several nights of chaotic protests after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is black, in the back during a domestic disturbance. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, opened fire on protesters Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz with an AR-15-style rifle.
Rosenbaum and Huber were killed while Grosskreutz was wounded. He survived.
Rittenhouse has argued that he fired in self-defense after the three protesters attacked him.
Police let him walk through their lines in the moments following the shootings, even though Rittenhouse still had his rifle slung over his shoulder and protesters were screaming that he had just shot three people.
Richards told Schroeder last month that Rittenhouse has received threats and has moved into a undisclosed safe house.