A Virginia police officer has been fired after hackers revealed he donated $25 to Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse with the message “you’ve done nothing wrong.” The Norfolk police department dismissed Lt. William Kelly Tuesday, saying his conduct violated department policy.

Kelly’s donation was disclosed in a massive data breach from GiveSendGo, a “Christian fundraising site” popular with those looking to raise money for right-wing figures facing legal fees.

The group Distributed Denial of Secrets got its hands on donor information for every campaign on the site, forwarding it to media outlets. The disclosure also included comments sent with the money.

“Every rank and file police officer supports you,” Kelly wrote. “Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

Kelly was first mentioned by name in a write-up of the dataset in The Guardian. He was fired days later.

“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,” wrote City Manager Chip Filer in a statement. “The city of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable.”

Kelly was placed on administrative leave as officials investigated the allegations. His quick firing prompted “disappointment” from Norfolk’s police union, although he is not a member.

“We were hoping for a full, transparent investigation,” union president Clay Messick told The Virginian-Pilot. “But after 72 hours, I do not believe that is what we got. … It is hard to call this fair.”

Another officer interviewed said that he “never would have suspected” Kelly’s rhetoric, calling him a nice, unassuming “golden boy.” While he was worried the care would exacerbate racial tensions in the department, he was also angry at Kelly’s assertion that ordinary police officers stood with Rittenhouse.

“Many of us here are pissed off because he doesn’t speak for us and those views are certainly not mine,” the officer said.

Rittenhouse’s profile as a rallying point for the alt-right was augmented by alleged appearances drinking with members of the Proud Boys and flashing hate symbols.

In the statement announcing Kelly’s firing, police chief Larry Boone said it was a matter of public trust.

“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,” he wrote.

A protestor in Kenosha, Wisconsin last August after the police shooting of African American Jacob Blake.
A protestor in Kenosha, Wisconsin last August after the police shooting of African American Jacob Blake. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Brandon Bell