Police officer who mocked LeBron James fired for violating city and state policies

Police officer who mocked LeBron James fired for violating city and state policies
Police officer with words for LeBron James sacked for posting them on TikTok

An Idaho police officer who posted a now infamous TikTok mocking the LA Lakers’ LeBron James has been sacked from his job.

After he posted a video that was viewed millions of times, Nate Silvester garnered internet fame. Prior to being let go from his job, he was deputy marshal in the town of Bellevue.

News of Mr Silvester’s firing was announced by the town’s mayor, Ned Burns, on 27 May. Mr Burns refuted it was in connection to his online presence.

“The policy violations have nothing to do with the tone or the tenor of his speech that he posts online. He was not terminated for the content of his speech; he was terminated for his failure to follow clearly laid out and well established policy,” the statement read.

The Independent has reached out The Bellevue Marshall’s Office for further clarification.

Mr Silvester’s TikTok video was a response to the basketball player tweeting a photo of the officer who shot dead Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, on the same night that Derek Chauvin was found guilty for murdering George Floyd. The caption in Mr James’s tweet read “You’re next.”

In the video, Mr Silvester is pretending to speak to Mr James on the phone, “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?”

Mr Silvester posted the video posted 24 April on TikTok, saying: “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.”

After the video was uncovered by the station’s management, Mr Silvester was put on administrative leave.

“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 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. This is a personnel issue that is being dealt with internally,” the Bellevue Marshall’s Office wrote in a Facebook post on 27 April.

Bellevue, a midwest town, has a Black population of 3 per cent. People angry about Mr Silvester’s firing have posted a crowdfunder, which the organiser stated gathered more funds than it expected to so therefore “ he wishes to use this platform he’s been given to help other officers in other situations similar to his, on a case by case basis”.

Additionally, there have been suggestions that he is planning to write a book titled ‘Never Off Duty’.

Last night, Mr Silvester was a guest on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, on which he labelled himself “the latest target of cancel culture” and said that he had posted on TikTok before while on duty and in uniform, but “it wasn’t until my LeBron James TikTok surfaced and struck a political nerve that they started to pay attention”.

The Independent reached out to Mr Silvester for comment.