Apr 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Virginia police officer fired after donating to Kyle Rittenhouse

Norfolk, Virginia has fired police Lt. William K. Kelly III after he donated $25 to Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse's legal defense and told Rittenhouse that he'd "done nothing wrong," the Virginian-Pilot reports.

Why it matters: Rittenhouse, who was then 17 years old, shot and killed two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during Black Lives Matter protests. He now faces multiple criminal charges including reckless homicide, reckless endangerment and a misdemeanor charge for underage possession of a gun.

  • Kelly told Rittenhouse in a note, "Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership."
  • The Norfolk Police Chief has launched an administrative investigation into Kelly's conduct.

Between the lines: News of Kelly's actions comes during the same week that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges related to the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in 2020.

What they're saying: Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander last week said Kelly's actions are "alarming and by all means not consistent with the values of our city."

  • City Manager Chip Filer on Tuesday said Kelly's alleged actions "erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve."
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