Idaho deputy fired for TikTok calling out LeBron James says he’s the latest victim of cancel culture


An Idaho police officer who was placed on administrative leave for mocking basketball star LeBron James in a TikTok video has been fired.

The Bellevue Marshal’s Office, a local police department, put Deputy Nate Silvester on leave earlier this month after his video spread through the internet via TikTok. It mocked tweets the Los Angeles Laker star made after the shooting death of Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio. 

On Thursday, the officer was fired for what Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns described as ‘his failure to follow clearly laid out well-established policies.’ 

James had said 'YOU'RE NEXT' with a picture of Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon

Silvester’s video, posted on April 24, mocked LeBron James for a tweet he made after the shooting death of Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio. James had said ‘YOU’RE NEXT’ with a picture of Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon

Speaking on Fox News , Silvester claimed to be the 'latest victim of 'cancel culture'

Speaking on Fox News , Silvester claimed to be the ‘latest victim of ‘cancel culture’ 

Speaking on Fox News, Silvester blamed ‘cancel culture’. 

‘I am the latest target of cancel culture, That’s all it is. None of my other videos that depicted me in my uniform or involving body camera footage, none of those mattered. They didn’t care about those. It wasn’t until my LeBron James TikTok struck a political nerve that they started to pay attention and complain about it and came up with forms of discipline.

‘I am still trying to wrap my head around it,’ Silvester said. ‘I was just fired this morning.’ 

Silvester is contemplating suing his former police department and hopes that he may still have a future in law enforcement.

‘I got offers from different agencies and elected officials from across the country. It’s not off the table.’ 

LeBron James had tweeted 'You're next' with a picture of the Ohio police officer who shot and killed Ma'Khia Bryant

LeBron James had tweeted ‘You’re next’ with a picture of the Ohio police officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant

'I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma'Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it,' the Los Angeles Lakers forward wrote on Twitter

‘I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma’Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it,’ the Los Angeles Lakers forward wrote on Twitter

Silvester initially was suspended for one week after the police officer’s video, posted April 24, showed him sitting in his patrol car pretending to tell dispatchers to have LeBron James call his cell in relation to an imaginary disturbance.

‘Excuse me, sir, can you put the knife down please? ‘Sir, no, don’t stab him, stop stabbing him,’ Silvester says while looking out of the window.

He then tells the fictional suspect: ‘Hold on, it’s LeBron’ while answering his phone.

‘LeBron? Hey, yeah it’s me again. Listen, I’m out here at a disturbance call, and there’s a guy trying to stab another guy with a knife. What do you think I should do?’ Silvester says in the video.

The cop then pretends to listen to James talk while asking him ‘what does that matter’ in relation to something the fictional James has said.

Silvester was initially suspended for one week after the police officer's video, posted on April 24, saw him sitting in his patrol car pretending to tell dispatchers to have LeBron James call his cell phone in relation to an imaginary disturbance outside of his vehicle

Silvester was initially suspended for one week after the police officer’s video, posted on April 24, saw him sitting in his patrol car pretending to tell dispatchers to have LeBron James call his cell phone in relation to an imaginary disturbance outside of his vehicle

‘OK, well, they’re both black. One guy’s trying to stab another guy with a knife. Deadly force is completely justified,’ Silvester says, relaying a similar series of events that led to Bryant’s death.

Silvester pauses before adding: ‘Uh-huh. I see. So you don’t care if a black person kills another black person, but you do care if a white cop kills a black person even if he’s doing it to save the life of another black person?’ 

‘I mean, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But then again you are really good at basketball, so I guess I’ll take your word for it,’ Silvester says.

The video came after the four-time NBA championship winner had tweeted ‘YOU’RE NEXT’ with a picture of Columbus Police officer Nicholas Reardon who shot and killed Bryant in April. He has since said he regretted the tweet. 

After the video went viral, the Bellevue Marshal’s Office blasted Silvester in a post made to Facebook.

After the video went viral, the Bellevue Marshall's Office blasted Silvester in a post made to Facebook

After the video went viral, the Bellevue Marshall’s Office blasted Silvester in a post made to Facebook

‘The Bellevue Marshal’s Office is aware of the extreme controversy regarding Deputy Marshal Silvester’s viral TikTok. The statements made do NOT represent the Bellevue Marshal’s Office,’ the agency wrote in its post.

‘The Bellevue Marshal’s Office always demands that our Deputies engage with our citizens in a friendly and professional manner. This is NOT how we expect our Deputies to act on duty or use city time.’

The agency had stated that the ‘personnel issue’ was being dealt with internally. 

Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns told the Idaho Mountain Express that Silvester’s video and actions went against departmental policies. He was wearing his work uniform  while posting videos from inside his patrol car. 

The officer later posted another video saying that he would not apologize for the first video

The officer later posted another video saying that he would not apologize for the first video

‘[Silvester’s action] does not comport well with city standards, particularly when he’s on city time,’ Burns told the Mountain Express.   

‘During the week of May 20, while on shift, Deputy Marshal Silvester violated several clearly established city of Bellevue and state of Idaho policing policies. After his previous policy violations, Deputy Marshal Silvester was placed on probation and was on what is called a ‘last chance agreement’ with his superior officers. Because of his continued policy violations, the marshal has terminated Mr. Silvester effective May 27, 2021,’ Burns wrote in his statement. 

Silvester made another video posted to TikTok shortly after his first in which he said he did not plan to apologize for the April 24 video. 

‘I’ve been asked a few different times whether or not I regret posting the LeBron TikTok and if I think I should apologize. My answer? Unequivocally, hell no,’ Silvester said in the second video. 

Silvester has since signed a book deal with Di Angelo Publications with the working title of it is Never Off Duty



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