Virginia Cop William Kelly Fired After Donating to Kyle Rittenhouse Fund

A Virginia police officer has been relieved of his duties after authorities learned he had donated to the legal fund of murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse.

Norfolk city officials said Tuesday they had accepted police chief Larry Boone's decision to relieve Lieutenant William Kelly of his duties for anonymously donating to help the suspected Kenosha shooter.

Lt. Kelly had been put on administrative duty on April 16 after he was identified in a data leak from the Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo that was initially reported by The Guardian.

In a statement, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer said Lt. Kelly had gone against departmental policies.

He 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. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees and we will hold staff accountable."

#NPDNews. City Manager Takes Administrative Action Against Norfolk Police Officer. For more information, please visit: https://t.co/QApFHNQEnx

— Norfolk Police Dept (@NorfolkPD) April 20, 2021

Norfolk Police Department Chief Boone added: "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."

The statement continued, adding Lt. Kelly has the right to appeal the decision.

Other donations to the Rittenhouse fund appear to have come from email addresses traceable to police and other public officials, the data leak showed according to The Guardian.

The legal fund for Rittenhouse now stands at $585,940 on GiveSendGo.

Rittenhouse, 18, is accused of murdering protesters Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 25, 2020, after traveling from nearby Illinois to the demonstrations that followed the police shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake on August 23 in the city.

His attorney claims Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, acted in self-defense and conservative figures have supported him following his arrest.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended Rittenhouse in an August episode of his show. Carlson said: "How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone can see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour."

Rittenhouse is accused of murdering protesters
In this photo, a man wears a shirt calling for freedom for Kyle Rittenhouse, the man who allegedly shot at protesters in Wisconsin, during a U.S. President Donald Trump campaign rally, the day after the end of the Republican National Convention, at Manchester Airport in Londonderry, New Hampshire on August 28, 2020. Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of murdering two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Contributor/Getty