A recent data breach at the Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo reveals several police officers and other public officials have opened their wallets for accused vigilantes accused of shooting Black Americans like Kyle Rittenhouse.
The Guardian reports the transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets shared the data breach listing donations which showed some were made using official email accounts.
The beneficiaries of donations from public officials include Kyle Rittenhouse, who stands accused of murdering two leftwing protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August. Rittenhouse traveled from neighboring Illinois to, by his own account, offer armed protection to businesses during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse, who became a cause célèbre across conservative media throughout late 2020, and was even supported by then president Donald Trump, held a fundraiser on GiveSendGo billed as a contribution to his legal defense. According to data from the site, he raised $586,940 between 27 August last year and 7 January .
One donation for $25, made on 3 September last year, was made anonymously, but associated with the official email address for Sgt William Kelly, who currently serves as the executive officer of internal affairs in the Norfolk police department in Virginia.
Kelly’s donation reportedly included a message to Rittenhouse: “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.”
It won’t surprise you to know that ‘Sgt. William Kelly’ was trending on Twitter this morning. In addition to his status as a police officer, folks noted that he’s the guy who is supposed to oversee internal affairs for his department.
It’s sad and horrifying, but of course Sergeant William Kelly, exec officer of internal affairs for the Norfolk PD, said this along with his anonymous $25 donation: pic.twitter.com/9oaS1jHgPy
— Zoé (@ztsamudzi) April 16, 2021
Sgt William Kelly is Executive Officer of Internal Affairs. He’s supposed to be the guy investigating and rooting out corruption—not the guy creating it by donating & praising a double homicide suspect.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. قاسم رشید (@QasimRashid) April 16, 2021
Breaking: Sgt. William Kelly, the Norfolk Police Department officer who donated to Kenosha killer, Kyle Rittenhouse, is the head of the Internal Affairs Unit — the unit that investigates police wrongdoing. He wrote that Rittenhouse “did nothing wrong.”
You can’t make this up. https://t.co/MtbFWNAu3g
— Chris Weidner (@CWNewser) April 16, 2021