US Va. Police Sgt. William Kelly Reassigned to Different Division After Allegedly Donating to Kyle Rittenhouse
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Virginia's Norfolk police department announced Friday that one of their officers has been reassigned to another division amid an ongoing investigation into allegations that he donated to Kenosha murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse, along with other public officials, which was revealed by a data breach.
Sergeant William Kelly is the officer who allegedly made an anonymous $25 donation on September 3 to Rittenhouse's campaign on Christian fundraising website GiveSendGo, the Guardian revealed after they reported on the site's breached data they obtained. Kelly and others were identified since the leak showed official email addresses attached to the donations.
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"God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You've done nothing wrong," Kelly commented to Rittenhouse with his donation, according to the Guardian. "Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don't be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership."
Kelly's LinkedIn revealed that he was the Norfolk police department's executive officer of internal affairs since March prior to his reported reassignment on Friday and has been with the force since 2002. The police department's statement did not specify which division he had been reassigned to and did not name Kelly.
"I am aware of the allegations leveraged against an officer of this department and have directed an administrative investigation to ensure department policies and procedures were not violated," said Norfolk Police Chief Larry D. Boone on Friday.
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"I am aware of the allegations leveraged against an officer of this department and have directed an administrative investigation to ensure department policies and procedures were not violated.” - Norfolk Police Chief Larry D. Boone— Norfolk Police Dept (@NorfolkPD) April 16, 2021
Rittenhouse's funding campaign shows it has currently surpassed its goal of 500,000 by more than 85,000. It was created to support his legal fees after he was charged with killing two men at a Kenosha, Wisconsin, protest that followed the police shooting of a Black man namedon August 23 in the city.
He posted bail for $2 million and left custody in November while he has consistently denied the charges against him and has argued that he acted in self defense, Newsweek previously.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, is accused of killing Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, on August 25 and the attempted homicide of Gaige Grosskreutz after he traveled from his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, to the protests for Blake.
Police, other civil servants donate to Kyle Rittenhouse defense
A data breach at the Christian crowdsourcing platform GiveSendGo shed light on the suspect's backers.Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men during protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has become a cause célèbre among conservative activists who believe the teen was within his rights to open fire in self-defense on Aug. 25. Rittenhouse, 18, was 17 at the time of the shooting.
His trial was scheduled to begin on March 29 but it has been delayed until November 1 due to more preparation time needed, according to the Associated Press.
Another public official who donated to Rittenhouse' fund was Craig Shepherd who is paramedic from Utah, according to the Guardian. He donated $10 on August 30.
The Guardian also revealed that Keith Silvers, a Huntsville Alabama city employee, donated to the Rittenhouse fund along with Michael Crosley, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, who donated $100. The Guardian reported they were sent the data breach from a group called Distributed Denial of Secrets.
As for Kelly, the results of the Norfolk police department's investigation into his alleged donation made to Rittenhouse and if it violated the department's policies are pending.
"As the Chief of Police, I will continue to lead the women and men of this department to be accountable to our vision and values," Boone said.
Newsweek reached out to the Norfolk police department but did not hear back in time for publication.
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