Data breach exposes financial support from police officers for fascist shooter Rittenhouse

A data breach on the Christian donation platform GiveSendGo has revealed the names of officials and police officers who donated money to defend teenage fascist shooter Kyle Rittenhouse and other right-wing extremist causes.

Kyle Rittenhouse during an extradition hearing in Lake County Court on October 30, 2020 in Waukegan, Illinois [Credit: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool]

Many of the contributors also submitted written messages of support with their donations. They were identified because they used their official email addresses to submit their contributions to the GiveSendGo crowdfunding website. Although contributors attempted to hide their identities by listing themselves as “anonymous” donors, their email addresses were captured by the site server and downloaded during the breach.

The GiveSendGo dataset was provided by hackers to data transparency activists at Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), who then passed the information on to journalists at Guardian and The Hill. According to a description of the record on the DDoSecrets website, it includes: “Donor information for each campaign on the ‘Christian fundraising platform’ GiveSendGo, best known for being used by right-wing extremists like the Proud Boys. The site was also reportedly used to fund and defend insurgents involved in the January 6 coup attempt, as well as those making claims of electoral fraud. “

An example posted by the Guardian is a $ 25 donation in support of Kyle Rittenhouse on September 3rd from an email address associated with Sgt. William Kelly, police officer in charge of internal affairs in Norfolk, Virginia. The donation was accompanied by a message that read, “God bless you. Thank you for your courage. Heads up. You have done nothing wrong. Any ordinary cop will support you. Do not be discouraged by actions of the law enforcement political class. “

On August 25, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin to volunteer as a member of an armed militia. One year old black man, two days earlier in front of his children. Later that night, during confrontations with protesters, Rittenhouse fired his AR15-style rifle multiple times, killing two men and seriously injuring a third.

Based on video evidence and eyewitness descriptions, the shooter was charged with five criminal offenses, including first degree premeditated murder in the death of Anthony Huber, 26; ruthless first degree murder in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36; and attempted first degree premeditated murder against Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, who was hit by a bullet in the biceps and survived.

Rittenhouse turned around the next morning after driving back to Antioch the night before and was held in the local prison for two months until extradited to Kenosha on October 30. Right from the start, Rittenhouse was hailed as a hero by the far right and supported by President Donald Trump. Several organizations launched a national fundraiser for his legal defense and raised the $ 2 million it took Rittenhouse to bail his January 5 indictment on which he did not plead guilty to all charges.

On the GiveSendGo website you can find details about the Rittenhouse campaign, which was launched by friends of the family. In total, the crowdfunding website raised $ 585,940, including a statement from fascist attorney Lin Wood. Wood is a leader in the effort to mobilize support for youth fascists and, along with Trump, is a supporter of the claim that the shooter acted in “self-defense”. He claims that Rittenhouse is a “political prisoner”.

Another campaign exposed by the data breach is an effort to raise funds and build support for Rusten Sheskey, the kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back on August 23. The “Support Rusten Sheskey” crowdfunding campaign on the GiveSendGo platform was launched thousands of dollars by dozens of donors, most of whom used personal email addresses.

However, the Guardian reported that “two US $ 20 donations to Sheskey’s fund were linked to the email addresses of a couple of lieutenants in Green Bay, the Wisconsin Police Department. One named “GBPD Officer” was tied to an address linked to Chad Ramos, a trainee lieutenant in the department. Another anonymous donation was made to Keith A. Gehring, listed as Lieutenant for the School Resource Officer.

A third donation was linked to the official email address of Officer Pat Gainer of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin Police Department. It contained a message titled “PPPD Motor 179” that read, “Be Strong Brother.” In the end, the Kenosha District Attorney declined to bring charges against Sheskey and the officer returned to the police on March 31.

Other anonymous donation campaigns on GiveSendGo came from Houston, Texas city officials who opposed the actions of Police Chief Art Acevedo, who fired four Houston police officers in April 2020 after they shot and killed Nicolas Chavez, who was on his knees and up the knee was suffering from a mental crisis. The Guardian reports that a $ 100 donation was tied to the email address of Samuel Peña, the city’s fire chief, who had previously publicly stated that he was a supporter of Acevedo.

Another anonymous donation of $ 400 was attributed to an email to Chris Andersen, a writer and 39-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, that included the comment, “I think Chief Acevedo was part of the ‘disapproved Form of police corruption ‘. that Chris Anderson [sic] wrote about it in his book. ‘Hold on guys !!! “

The discovery that fascists like Rittenhouse are supported and campaigns run in defense of officials involved in police violence and murder comes as no surprise. For example, NBC News reported in October that federal law enforcement officers were instructed to make public comments to Rittenhouse. The memo also included a number of topics of conversation distributed by Homeland Security officials to counter media exposure of the fascist group Patriot Prayer as “racists”.

Meanwhile, a significant percentage of the right-wing crowd that attacked the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6 has been found to be former or current law enforcement officers or active or retired U.S. military personnel. In addition, at the time of the January 6 coup attempt, at least two leaders of the Proud Boys fascist organization – Enrico Tarrio and Joseph Biggs – were active FBI informants.

Along with previous revelations from participants in white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations within the ranks of the U.S. military, the GiveSendGo revelations provide concrete evidence that support for right-wing and fascist political movements in U.S. law enforcement is active and widespread at the national level . state and local levels.

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