A Virginia police officer was fired for donating $25 to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund.
Now that Rittenhouse has been acquitted on all charges, including first-degree murder accusations for killing two leftist militants who attacked him, the officer wants his job back.
According to the Daily Mail of London, Lt. Bill Kelly of the Norfolk Police Department, a longtime homicide investigator, contributed $25 to Rittenhouse’s defense last year.
The 19-year veteran, and father of three, made the online donation anonymously. He said he did it that way so it would not reflect on the Norfolk PD.
Kelly also included a note to Rittenhouse: “God Bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong. Every rank-and-file police officer supports you.”
In an interview Friday with the Daily Mail, he said, “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. 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.”
“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,” added Kelly.
‘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.”
Yet seven months ago The Guardian, a liberal paper also from London, reported on a story about police officers who had donated to Rittenhouse. They became known after liberal hackers exposed the contributions to the online site.
Kelly was named among them by The Guardian and subsequently fired. That came after left-wing activists from around the globe contacted the department and demanded that he be terminated, the Daily Mail reported.
Kelly told the Daily Mail, “This is America. You can agree with your neighbors and other people in your community and you can disagree with them. Just because someone has a different opinion than you, it doesn’t mean you should destroy their lives, take their job away.”
“My opinion on the self-defense claim of Mr. Rittenhouse has no impact on my ability to do my job as a police officer. IIf 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.”
He pointed out that Norfolk police Chief Larry Boone attended a Black Lives Matter rally last year, in uniform and while on duty, and suffered no consequences – even after holding a BLM sign that named people shot by police, including his own department.
“The hypocrisy is dumbfounding,” Kelly said. “For the leader of our organization to be able to advocate support for a movement that is at the very least divisive in America today, in uniform while on duty… he was holding carried the name of a person who had recently been shot by a Norfolk police officer.”
“The sign demanded justice for that person, but that shooting was still under investigation to determine whether or not that officer should be charged criminally,” he continued. “It’s very inconsistent.”
“Yet I cannot, off-duty, on my own time make a donation and some comments that are well within the realm of public, acceptable discourse?”
Kelly lost his job just 10 months before he qualified for his pension. He has filed a grievance over his termination. He seeks a hearing on his appeal for reinstatement in January but told the Daily Mail he hopes the department will come around before then.
“I love being a cop, it’s a part of me and who I am. It was a huge hit to me to lose my job. If I got the chance again, I’d jump on it,” he said.
Check out Tampafp.com for Politics, Tampa Local News, Sports, and National Headlines. Support journalism by clicking here to our GoFundMe or sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here. Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. It’s Free And Coming To Apple Users Soon.