This article appeared online at on Monday, November 22, 2021: 

Norfolk, Virginia, police Lieutenant William Kelly wants his job back. He was fired back in April when BLM-supporting Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone learned that Kelly had donated $25 anonymously to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund. That was back when the world was certain that Rittenhouse, the “white supremacist,” had murdered people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

Because Kelly’s donation didn’t fit the narrative according to Boone, he was fired. Explained Boone:

His [Kelly’s] 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 hold staff accountable.

Here is what Kelly wrote on the Christian crowd-funding site:

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.

He was surprised to learn that the crowd-funding website had been hacked and that his anonymous donation and comments had been published by the left-wing Guardian. That roused the indignation of enough progressives to cause them to e-mail their outrage — not about the breach but about the disclosure — to Norfolk leaders demanding that they fire Kelly.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, Kelly explained why he made the donation:

I was interested in giving him [Rittenhouse] 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.

His opinion carried weight:

I’ve been a homicide detective, a violent crimes investigator for years. I have a background.


I watched the of the shooting and I’d seen the video of 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.

Apparently none of this mattered to the BLM-supporting Boone. 

In his 25-page grievance filing, Kelly wrote:


I admit that I privately and anonymously, and solely as an individual and not as an employee of the City of Norfolk, donated $25 to a Kyle Rittenhouse legal defense fund, and posted a message to Kyle Rittenhouse offering emotional support, using a GiveSendGo account for which I registered using my City of Norfolk email address.


My donation to that fund, my message, and my association with the City of Norfolk was intended and expected to be and anonymous, and became public information solely due to unlawful electronic hacking of the account by third parties and subsequent publication of information obtained through that hacking by news media.


Nothing in my message presented an impression that I was representing, giving opinions or otherwise speaking on behalf of the City of Norfolk.

He then exposed the staggering of his boss:

My dismissal reflects inconsistency, unfairness and discrimination by the City of Norfolk in regard to speech by members of the Norfolk Police Department.


I engaged in speech which was and anonymous but became public through no fault of my own, and which, when made public, upset a small number of vocal people for a very short time.


The Chief of Police of the Norfolk Police Department [Larry Boone], in contrast, has been permitted to parade through the streets of Norfolk, wearing his Norfolk Police Department uniform, holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign while marching with a crowd protesting against police and law enforcement.

He told the Daily Mail:

The 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 … [the sign] he was holding carried the name of a person who had recently been shot by a Norfolk police officer.


The sign demanded 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?

His attorney filed the grievance in May. It’s now November. The Rittenhouse case is over. Kelly, who is married with three children, is living off of his savings and his wife’s salary as a schoolteacher.

All he wants is that precious commodity that is disappearing in America: justice. He’d like his job back. He’d like assurance that his pension will be vested. And it would be nice if Chief Boone apologized.

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