A Virginia police officer who was summarily fired after a newspaper outed his donation to the Kyle Rittenhouse defense fund now wants his job back since the teenager was judged “not guilty” of the charges of murder lodged against him by a failed Wisconsin prosecutor.
Norfolk Police Lt. William Kelly was fired in April after the Guardianrevealed the names of public officials who donated to the Rittenhouse legal defense fund.
Officer Kelly reportedly donated $25 to Rittenhouse’s defense fund but used his Norfolk Police Department email address to register the donation.
On the donation page of the defense fund website, Kelly also reportedly wrote, “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.”
Who would you vote for if the elections were held today?
After the paper outed Kelly’s donation of his personal money, Norfolk city manager Chip Filer blasted the officer, saying, Kelly’s “egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve.”
Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone also said that Kelly could no longer have the trust of the people of Norfolk and fired Kelly, despite that he was a 19-year veteran of the force.
Kelly told the Daily Mail that by his reckoning of the law and the actions Rittenhouse took, the teenager was innocent.
“Everything I’m saying is just my personal opinion. I’ve been a homicide detective, a violent crimes investigator for years. I have a background. I watched the video of the shooting and I’d seen the video of the journalists of Mr. Rittenhouse before the shooting and the protesters before the shooting and I thought it painted a pretty clear picture that Mr. Rittenhouse had a very strong claim for self-defense,” Kelly explained.
“I was very surprised when he was charged soon after the shooting with these murders and the shooting of the third victim,” he added.
“I was interested in giving him the chance to defend himself in front of a jury. I know that lawyers are expensive, and it’s hard sometimes to get the message out there. I wanted to make sure that he had the means necessary to make his claim in court,” Kelly continued. “It mattered. The comments I made, my belief that he has a strong claim for self-defense was a personal opinion. I didn’t want my city or police department to be associated with it, so I chose to donate anonymously.”
“This is America. You can agree with your neighbors and other people in your community and you can disagree with them,” Kelly exclaimed. “Just because someone has a different opinion than you, it doesn’t mean you should destroy their lives, take their job away.”
“If I had a different opinion and I donated to a fund for the victims and made comments about how Mr. Rittenhouse was a murderer, nobody would have cared or tried to get me fired,” Kelly said.
Kelly has now filed a grievance seeking to get his job back since he has been proven right about the Rittenhouse case”:
My dismissal reflects inconsistency, unfairness and discrimination by the City of Norfolk in regard to speech by members of the Norfolk Police Department. I engaged in speech which was private and anonymous but became public through no fault of my own, and which, when made public, upset a small number of vocal people for a very short time. The Chief of Police of the Norfolk Police Department, in contrast, has been permitted to parade through the streets of Norfolk, wearing his Norfolk Police Department uniform, holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign while marching with a crowd protesting against police and law enforcement…
Looks like officer Kelly was 100 percent correct.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.