NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A former Virginia police officer who was fired after donating to a defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse wants his job back now that a Wisconsin jury has acquitted the young man on murder charges during protests against police brutality last year.
Norfolk officials fired former Police Lt. William Kelly in April for breaking policy by using his work email to donate $ 25 to a Rittenhouse defense fund. But now Kelly wants to be reinstated, media reported.
News agencies including The Virginian-Pilot have reported obtaining data from a hacked Christian crowdfunding website, apparently showing that an initially anonymous donation of $ 25 to Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund was linked to Kelly’s work email address.
The gift carried the comment, “God bless you. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You haven’t done anything wrong, ”the newspaper reported.
Rittenhouse was ultimately acquitted of the murder after shooting two men and injuring another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Kelly’s attorney, Ray Hogge Jr., told WVEC-TV that although Kelly used his work email to donate and comment, he did not violate any department policies.
“Bill Kelly has the First Amendment, free speech rights, which must be respected,” Hogge said.
Kelly hopes her call will allow her to wear the badge again.
“Every American has the right to make such comments and to donate to the causes they support,” Kelly told WAVY-TV. “The fact that I am a police officer does not deprive me of this right. “
Hogge said his office plans to have discussions with police department officials; they said they would not comment on a personnel matter.
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