After a Norfolk, Virginia, police officer was fired for donating $25 to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund when a hacker-connected group gave “breached” data about anonymous donations to the media, the Christian crowdfunding site that processed his donation is now collecting donations for him.
Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDOS), which the Department of Homeland Security deemed a “criminal hacker group,” obtained the email addresses of anonymous donors to various crowdfunding campaigns on the site GiveSendGo, an alternative to GoFundMe that allows people to send prayers or money to people.
The Guardian, a British newspaper, used the data to dox rank-and-file police officers who had donated to legal support funds of colleagues who had garnered the ire of Black Lives Matter, including Rusten Sheskey, who faced a probe after shooting Jacob Blake. Investigations into Sheskey’s conduct ultimately cleared him of wrongdoing, finding that he did his job properly in apprehending a knife-wielding suspect.
It also doxed police and paramedics who gave money to the legal defense fund of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged in the shooting deaths of two people during an anti-police riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that came in the wake of Blake’s shooting. Rittenhouse said he was in Kenosha “providing first aid for, like, minor injuries to people” and used the gun to defend himself against rioters. One of the people killed was “a homeless man with a criminal record who was discharged that day from a psychiatric hospital.”
He faces a trial which will determine whether he acted in self-defense or not, but faces hefty legal bills in the process.
Other media joined in the doxing, with a reporter in Utah knocking on the door of a paramedic demanding to know why he gave $10.
Then there was Norfolk police sergeant William Kelly.
The Guardian wrote:
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.”
The comment continued: “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Law enforcement leadership then fired Kelly, a move which was covered by The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Now GiveSendGo has created a campaign on behalf of Kelly.
“A lot of it is just trying to wrap our brains around the state of where things are at. What’s happening in our world that someone can give a $25 donation and lose their job for supporting someone?” GiveSendGo cofounder Heather Wilson told The Daily Wire.
“Kamala Harris promoted giving to bail people who were arrested for rioting, so why wouldn’t that same freedom be afforded to someone else? We’re going to allow and promote it on this side, but prevent it on the other?”
“Even his comments, which are being used against him, his comment was we stand behind you, it was just a positive message. It wasn’t against someone else,” she said.
Her brother, cofounder Jacob Wells, said, “This criminal act of hacking and releasing information, we believe just as we did in allowing Kyle Rittenhouse’s campaign to be an active campaign, that Kelly has the right to have a campaign just like anyone else — to not restrict people from giving to individuals who people want to support.”
He previously told The Daily Wire the media’s goal in using hacked data to name private citizens who gave small amounts to charity could only be to make them targets for retribution and to intimidate others. “There’s no other value other than to make them fearful,” he said.
The thousands of donations to Rittenhouse’s campaign show that many Americans hold beliefs — such as a belief in the right to due process — that media and tech companies apparently view as off-limits, he said.
He said that while GiveSendGo is a Christian company, it did not set out to be a conservative company. It wants to enable charity of all sorts.
But GoFundMe, the best-known crowdfunding website, bans many pleas tied to conservatives, he said. “We’re not trying to be the conservative side, we’re finding that the conservative side would have no other option if it weren’t for GiveSendGo.”
Kelly’s fundraising campaign has a goal of $10,000 — and prayers.