A new survey of The Guardian shows that police and other officials contributed financially to the legal defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old ‘Kenosha shooter’ and right icon currently on trial for the death of two people.
Rittenhouse rose to fame last summer after traveling from his Illinois home to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he disastrously inserted himself into the local political turmoil inspired by a shootout involving police and ended up killing two people with an AR-15 style rifle.
A recent data breach involving the Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo shows just how much support the shooter seems to have online support in right-wing circles, including some members of our country’s law enforcement community. Using the platform, Rittenhouse raised more than half a million dollars over a period of several months, raising $ 586,940 between last August and early January of this year. A number of these contributions apparently come from the police and other public officials spread across the country.
According to The Guardian, the data appears to have included internal comments provided by contributors: “God bless you. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You haven’t done anything wrong, ”said an internal affairs officer with the Norfolk Virginia Police Department, paying $ 25 to the Rittenhouse defense. “Every base police officer supports you. Do not be put off by the actions of the political class of law enforcement officials. “
Rittenhouse has also reportedly received contributions from other officials – including an official from the city of Huntsville, Alabama, and an engineer at one of the US National Laboratories. The report notes that in many cases, “donations were attached” to “official email addresses of contributors, raising questions about the use of public resources to support such campaigns.” It does not share the amounts specifically coming from government employees.
Other data reviewed by reporters shows substantial police support for a number of other disgraced law enforcement officials, including Rusten Sheskey, the Kenosha cop who shot and seriously injured Jacob Blake , a 29-year-old black man, thus triggering local protests that Rittenhouse flew to the state to get unnecessarily involved. A fund for Sheskey apparently raised several thousand dollars, most of which came from “private email addresses associated with Kenosha officers.”
The data leak involving GiveSendGo showed the site raised millions upon millions of dollars for far-right figures and groups.including the Proud Boys. The company did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment and we will update this post when we receive a response.