After being fired for supporting Kyle Rittenhouse and donating to a legal defense fund for him, former Virginia police officer William Kelly has received more than $46,600 in donations through a Christian crowdfunding website, GiveSendGo, with a goal of $50,000.
Kelly was fired after a data breach was reported involving the crowdfunding site, which revealed the email addresses of the legal defense fund's donors, The Hill reported.
Rittenhouse is currently facing homicide and firearm charges after being accused of fatally shooting two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty earlier this year, saying the shootings were in self-defense.
Kelly gave an anonymous donation to Rittenhouse's legal defense fund last year, leaving the comment in support saying, "[G]od 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."
After the data breach revealed Kelly to be one of the anonymous donors, calls for his resignation came. He was ultimately fired last week.
"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," Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer wrote in a statement.
"His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable."
Police Chief Larry Boone released a statement as well, saying "a police department cannot do its job when the public loses trust with those whose duty is to serve and protect them. We do not want perceptions of any individual officer to undermine the relations between the Norfolk Police Department and the community."
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