Police officers and political officials donated to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal fund, The Guardian reports. The information was shared during a data breach of GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding website, where Rittenhouse raised $586,940 last year.
Among the donations, which appeared anonymous prior to the breach, were notes of encouragement for Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two people and injured a third during an anti-police brutality protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Guardian reports that one police officer in Norfolk, Virginia — Sgt. William Kelly — wrote 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,” the donation comment continued. “Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
More contributions came from Craig Shepherd, a paramedic in Utah; Keith Silvers, a Huntsville city employee in Alabama; and Michael Crosley, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The director of public affairs at the laboratory, Lynda Seaver, wrote in an email that Crosley made “an honest mistake” and “never intended to use his Lab email on this matter.”
In January, Rittenhouse was arraigned on charges of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of reckless endangerment. As a 17-year-old, he also faces misdemeanor charges of possessing a firearm as a minor. He was released after posting a $2 million bail, with most of the money coming from crowdfunding efforts and conservative donors.
Another person whose donations data was released in the breach was Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey, who returned to active duty this week after shooting Jacob Blake last summer.
Several Wisconsin officers donated to the online “Support Rusten Sheskey” fundraiser, including a school resources officer and training lieutenant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Another cop, Pat Gainer of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin; donated to Sheskey’s cause and wrote, “Stay strong brother.”