A data breach obtained by The Guardian shows that a number of U.S. police officers and public officials donated Kenosha Police Department Officer Rusten Sheskey and Kyle Rittenhouse. Organized by the Distributed Denial of Secrets, the reports show that a number of donors used their work emails not only to offer funds, but they also wrote messages of support for the two.
Sheskey is most well known for shooting Jacob Blake Jr. in August 2020, leaving him paralyzed. After the shooting, Sheskey was placed on administrative leave and a fundraiser was put together on his behalf. Information from the data breach shows that two $20 donations were associated with lieutenants in the Green Bay Police Department. Another donation was reportedly tied to an officer by the name of Pat Gainer in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Adding on, more than $5,000 in donations were reportedly tied to the private email addresses of nearly three dozen officers.
Days after Blake Jr. was nearly killed, Kyle Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha and killed two protesters, Wisconsin. He has since been charged reckless homicide and reckless endangerment. In an effort to pay for his legal defense, Rittenhouse held an online fundraiser that drew the attention of Sgt. William Kelly in Norfolk, Virginia. An email address associated with Kelly donated $25 and left a comment for Rittenhouse.
“God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong," the comment read.
“Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Ultimately, Rittenhouse raised more than $500,000 toward his legal defense. He has also been spotted out and about with members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys. Not to mention, he earned the public support of former President Donald Trump.
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