Norfolk Sacks Police Officer for $25 Contribution to Rittenhouse Defense Fund

by Kerry Dougherty

Lemme get this straight: A high-ranking Norfolk police officer with 19 years of service was fired yesterday because he anonymously contributed 25 bucks to the defense fund of then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two people during riots in Kenosha, WI, last summer.

It appears Lt. William K. Kelly III sent the donation through his work email and was doxxed by a group called Distributed Denial of Secrets that operates on the dark web and fancies itself the heir to Wikileaks.

The anonymous $25 donation 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.

That email might be a violation of police department policy, but a fireable offense?

According to WTKR, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer terminated Kelly Tuesday on the recommendation of Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone after a quick four-day investigation.

“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.”

Odd. The police chief himself – in uniform – took part in a Black Lives Matter protest last spring and at one point was photographed carrying a BLM banner.

So, political speech is fine for Chief Boone in his official capacity. But underlings better keep their opinions to themselves or look for another job.

Good to know.

The Rittenhouse case is complicated. We discussed it at length on the radio last summer and I repeatedly made the point that the Illinois teenager had no business being in Wisconsin during the rioting. In interviews prior to the shootings, Rittenhouse told reporters he was an EMT and he was there to help protect businesses that were in danger of destruction from rioters and to offer medical assistance if needed.

Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three people, killing two of them, during a chaotic night of street violence. According to news reports, Rittenhouse told police he fired the shots in self-defense while guarding a business that was under siege. The now 18-year-old is out on bail and due to stand trial this fall.

Just as many on the left — including Vice President Kamala Harris — raised bail money for rioters and protesters who were arrested last summer, conservative groups donated money for Rittenhouse’s defense.

Now those donors are being doxxed and so far, it cost one police officer his job.

The same fate could have awaited a Utah paramedic who donated 10 bucks to the defense fund using his work email. He, too, was outed for his small donation and he was hounded by a local news reporter who actually went to the man’s home. According to ABC, however, the paramedic’s employer — the city’s fire department — took a more measured approach.

We can confirm that Craig Shepherd is an employee of the West Valley City Fire Department. We have become aware of a donation made using his government email account. We are conducting an investigation into this matter, however, such a donation would be representative of personal actions and not those of West Valley City.

Pity Norfolk didn’t adopt the same stance.

Then again, if it weren’t for double standards, Norfolk would have no standards at all.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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11 responses to “Norfolk Sacks Police Officer for $25 Contribution to Rittenhouse Defense Fund”

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Lt. Kelley states: “Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

    That term political class is important. They control not only our police departments but also our school systems.

  2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    I have to admit there does seem to be double standard going on. This police lieutenant should have known better than to use the official office e-mail to make the contribution and make his comments. He is a 19-year veteran of the force, after all. However, he should not have been fired over it.

    By the same token, Chief Boone would have been wise not to have participated in a BLM demonstration in his uniform.

    Maxine Waters’ comments were outrageous. Biden’s comments were unwise, but, at least, he waited until the jury was sequestered.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      The Chief has a different job description.

      1. And the police chief walking with the BLM group while holding a BLM sign was in his job description? There’s a difference between a public display in a political situation and one intended to be anonymous and outed on the dark web.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Meeting with those civic leaders, donchaknow.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    I think if the department emails are “open” , I’d worry about a lot more that just this.

    And guess what… I hear the “MO MONEY” word!

    1. will NPD be examining all department e-mail and computer and phone activities to ensure no other ‘extremists’ on either end of the spectrum exists among the ranks? etc, etc?

      otherwise it appears to be a personal vendetta against ‘un-like’ minded officers.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        well, if their system is not secure and outside folks can get to the internal emails…………

        better to find them before they get released to the entire world?

  4. Boone said: “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.”

    Would someone please explain how Kelly’s private comments to Rittenhouse — released only because someone hacked a crowd-funding site — would erode trust with the community?

    And what, pray tell, is Norfolk’s “standard of behavior” for all employees? Is the standard that it’s OK to support the causes favored by city leadership, but not OK to oppose those causes?

    I can’t help but think this is going to backfire on the City of Norfolk. Let’s see how long before Chief Boone starts complaining about shortfalls in recruiting and retention.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      sounds a little like the liberal version of project vertias?

  5. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    I’d have to see their actual policy, but use of the city’s email account and address for that purpose likely violated it. I spent four years worried about that when the AG’s office computer system was under my responsibility. Had he done it through his own personal account he’d likely have weathered this storm.

    I tend to agree that it is unwise for a police official, a lieutenant, to express a strong opinion on the innocence or guilt of a homicide defendant half the country away, on the basis of news media accounts. It was wrong for President Biden to do that recently, had Trump done the same the media explosion would have been nuclear, but the senior police officer doing it on a city-provided email account was….unwise. For my friends who disagree, imagine if (like VP Harris) he had sent money to bail out rioters with an expression similar to Rep. Water’s recent incendiary comments. Then YOU would be calling for his head.

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