Earlier in 2021, Norfolk Police Lieutenant William Kelly was fired from his job at the police department for an innocuous $25 donation he made anonymously to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund.
While Kelly is still fighting to be reinstated to his former position, the Daily Wire’s Candace Owens raised north of $245,000 for the fired police lieutenant – presenting him with a large check during her talk show on November 22nd.
Back in April of 2021, The Guardian published a report that doxed Kelly, and others, after crowdfunding website GiveSendGo suffered an illegal data breach by the hacking group Distributed Denial of Secrets – which The Guardian referred to an anonymous band of hackers as a “transparency group” who “shared with journalists” their illegally obtained information.
“Among the donors were several associated with email addresses traceable to police and other public officials. 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. That donation also carried a comment, reading: ‘God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong.'”
Much of The Guardian article read as such, doxxing one person after another who’d donated to a legal defense fund for a young man who’d later be found not guilty during his November trial.
After Kelly was fired from the department, his story managed to garner support from those that found it absurd that someone could be fired from a job for making an anonymous donation to a legal defense fund of someone who at the time was presumed innocent.
On November 21st, Owens launched a fundraiser to support Kelly while he fights to get his job back that he’d held for nearly two decades – and the fundraising campaign took off. She originally called for supporters to get the effort up to $100,000 – but it wound up surpassing $200,000 by the time she had the giant check printed.
And when Owens presented Kelly with said large check, which noted it was $202,000 at the time of printing, she announced that the fundraiser had continued to grow and reached over $240,000 during the segment’s airing.