Norfolk Police lieutenant relieved of duty after anonymous donation to Kyle Rittenhouse fund linked to officer's email surfaces

Kyle Rittenhouse
Posted at 3:26 PM, Apr 20, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - At the recommendation of Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone, City Manager Chip Filer has accepted the police chief's recommendation and Lt. William Kelly, the NPD lieutenant accused of making an anonymous donation to help a man on trial for killing Black Lives Matter protesters has been relieved of duty.

“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,” Filer.

On April 16, Kelly was initially placed on administrative duty after the City Manager said reports were made that he donated and expressed support for the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with multiple felonies, including homicide, for the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Those protests happened after a police officer shot Jacob Blake during a domestic disturbance investigation, leaving Blake paralyzed from the waist down.

“I want the residents of Norfolk to know that their police department will represent and uphold our organizational values of Service, Honor, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Diversity. A police department cannot do its job when the public loses trust with those whose duty is to serve and protect them. We do not want perceptions of any individual officer to undermine the relations between the Norfolk Police Department and the community. I ask the community to continue to support the officers of the Norfolk Police Department as in the past knowing that right now, at this moment, they are continuing to serve and protect them.” said Chief Boone.

City officials say Kelly has the right to appeal the decision in accordance with the city's grievance procedure and applicable law.

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