A Virginia police lieutenant is out of a job over his support of Kyle Rittenhouse. Lt. William Kelly III's name first emerged Friday in a report by the Guardian on a hack that revealed some personal data tied to donors to Rittenhouse via Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo. A $25 donation made anonymously on Sept. 3 was linked to Kelly's work email, the Guardian reported, and was accompanied by this message: "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." Police Chief Larry Boone launched an administrative investigation into the claim, and City Manager Chip Filer said on Tuesday that Kelly had been fired.
Filer cited the "egregious" comments Kelly posted in support of Rittenhouse, which Filer said go against departmental policy and "erode the trust" between Norfolk's police and its citizens. Kelly, the No. 2 officer in the department's internal affairs unit, has the right to appeal. In comments to the Virginian-Pilot, the head of the local police union slammed the hasty nature of the probe. "We were hoping for a full, transparent investigation, but after 72 hours, I do not believe that is what we got," said Clay Messick. The online fundraiser for Rittenhouse, the teen accused of murdering two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Wisconsin last August, reportedly raked in $586,940 to help fund his legal defense. (Read more police officer stories.)