“My opinion on the self-defense claim of Mr. Rittenhouse has no impact on my ability to do my job as a police officer.”
The Norfolk Virginia Police Department fired Sgt. William K. Kelly III for donating anonymously $25 to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense.
The department only found out because a hacker group released the information of the anonymous users.
A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts.
Kelly wants his job back.
Kelly told The Daily Mail he thought Rittenhouse was innocent based on videos. He also explained why he donated:
‘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.
‘I was very surprised when he was charged soon after the shooting with these murders and the shooting of the third victim,’ he said.
Kelly, a self-confessed ‘news junkie’, saw that a GoFundMe account for Rittenhouse had been canceled, and a site called Give Send Go had set up another page for him.
He logged on and donated, making sure to leave out personal details because he says he didn’t want to associate himself with the police department.
‘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.
‘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.
‘It was only after the hackers broke into it that they were able to connect those dots,’ he said.
Kelly also mentioned the comments and demands for his firing did not come from local people. But the department decided Kelly’s donation “eroded the public’s trust in the police.”
He wants his job back. Kelly wishes the department waited to make a decision about his employment instead of rushing to appease the woke mob:
Speaking from his home in Norfolk, he said he wishes the city officials had waited at least until tensions surrounding the case had calmed, if not until the trial.
‘If people consumed as much information as I did about the case they may have come to a different conclusion. And honestly even if they did consume as much information as I did and they came to a different conclusion – that’s fine.
‘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.’
He says the only reason he was fired was because he supported the teenager.
‘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 filed a grievance. He mentioned police chief Larry Boone attended a BLM protest while in uniform and on duty:
In the photo, Boone is holding a sign that reads Black Lives Matter, with the names of people who have been shot by cops – including some in Norfolk – around it.
‘The hypocrisy is dumbfounding. 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. 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?’
The bigger issue, he says, is that he was fired for daring to have an opinion that went against woke officials and public pressure to condemn the teenager.
‘The outcome of the trial has nothing to do with my vindication – right or wrong, an American has the right to express their opinion within the realm of public discourse.
‘That same freedom exists regardless to the outcome.’
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