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Va. Senator requests reinstatement of Norfolk lieutenant after anonymous donation to Rittenhouse fund linked to officer's email surfaces

Kyle Rittenhouse
Posted at 1:51 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 21:45:10-05

NORFOLK, Va. - State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R), of District 17, has called for the reinstatement of a Norfolk lieutenant who was relieved from duty after anonymous donation to Kyle Rittenhouse fund was linked to the lieutenant's email.

In April, Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone made a recommendation, which was accepted by the city's manager, to relieve Lt. William Kelly from duty.

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. Kelly's anonymous donation was linked to his official work email address, which called for an investigation to ensure department policies were not violated. As a result of the investigation, he was relieved of duty.

Rittenhouse was recently found not guilty on all counts by a jury in connection with an August 2020 shooting that left two men dead amid protests against police brutality after Jacob Blake was shot by police. He would have faced life in prison if convicted of the intentional homicide count.

Now, Sen. Reeves has sent a letter to Chief Boone requesting the reinstatement of Kelly since the jury found Rittenhouse not guilty.

In his letter, Sen. Reeves states since the donation was intended to be anonymous and not represent the department in any way since Kelly has admitted he made a mistake using his work email.

The senator claims that Chief Boone played into a double standard when he marched along with a Black Lives Matter protest in uniform. The department policy states that no officer should have on uniforms at political events.

The letter states Kelly was recently featured in an article stating he wants his job back. The senator asks Chief Boone to take it into serious consideration. The senator is a former police officer and claims that firing Kelly sets a bad precedent on all Virginia officers.

Read the full letter below:

Tuesday, the Norfolk branch of the NAACP urged Norfolk Police officials "to not succumb to public pressure" and reinstate Kelly.

"The actions taken by Chief Boone and City Manager Filer to fire William Kelly were done to improve public faith and trust in our law enforcement," said Stacie Armstead, President of Norfolk Branch NAACP.