Norfolk PD May Have Violated Officer’s Speech Rights by Firing Him over Rittenhouse Donation

Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people and injuring another during riots on the streets of Kenosha, Wis., attends his extradition hearing in Lake County, Waukegan, Ill., October 30, 2020. (Nam Y. Huh/Reuters Pool)

The firing of a veteran Norfolk police officer whose anonymous $25 donation to the legal defense of teenage Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse was outed by The Guardian last week was likely “inappropriate and illegal,” a local labor lawyer told National Review.

Ray Hogge, a Norfolk, Va.-based lawyer, said that as a public employee, the city must respect the First Amendment rights of Lieutenant William Kelly, including his right to donate to charitable causes that city leaders might not approve of.

Even though Kelly included his police email on the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo, he said, it is clear that Kelly was donating and

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Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.


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