Is this America, the land of freedom? Evidently not in the Norfolk Police Department.
In the summer of 2020 young Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with murdering two rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Evidence appeared indicating that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defense, and a number of fund-raisers developed to cover the costs of his legal defense. Under the law, there should be an assumption of innocence until one is proven guilty. On November 19, 2021, a jury in Kenosha found Rittenhouse innocent on all counts.
Police Lieutenant William Kelly, a nineteen-year veteran of the Norfolk Police Department, read of the Rittenhouse affair and was convinced of the young man’s innocence. He made an anonymous $25 donation to the Kyle Rittenhouse defense fund.
Unfortunately for Kelly, the funding site suffered a data breach and his donation was no longer anonymous. Lieutenant Kelly was then fired.
Kelly had included a note with his donation saying “You’ve done nothing wrong. Every rank and file police officer supports you.” When Kelly was exposed and fired, the Norfolk city manager called the note egregious, but most people would consider the statement inoffensive. Are not all of us entitled to an opinion as to someone’s guilt or innocence? And it was an opinion that had been expressed privately without specific reference to the Norfolk police.
I consider the firing to be a travesty. Kelly has filed a grievance with the city to get his job back. In the name of all that is right, I pray that he prevails.