An Idaho marshal’s deputy has been fired after posting a video online which mocked NBA star LeBron James for targeting an Ohio officer who fatally shot a teen attempting to stab another girl.
Deputy Nate Silvester was fired Thursday for “continued policy violations” after a “last-chance agreement” with his superior officers, said Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns, the New York Post reported.
“The decision was solely made by the command structure within the Bellevue Marshals office and was not influenced in any way by me or by the City Council,” the mayor added.
In a statement released on Facebook, the city claimed Silvester “was not terminated for the content of his speech; he was terminated for his failure to follow clearly laid out and well established policy.”
In April, Silvester mocked James for seemingly doxxing and threatening a police officer who saved a young black girl’s life via a now-viral TikTok video mocking the athlete’s rationale.
“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?” Silvester says in the video mocking James, The Daily Wire reported. “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.”
A week after the video went viral, the Bellevue Marshal’s Office announced that Silvester was under investigation.
“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,” said a statement from the office at the time. “We would like to thank everyone that took the time to reach out to us. We greatly value our relationship within our wonderful community.”
Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday, Silvester said he was “the latest target of cancel culture.”
“That’s all it is,” he insisted, noting that his videos worked to “humanize the badge” as popular figures, politicians, and media personalities continue to vilify officers.
“None of my other videos that depicted me in my uniform or involving body camera footage, none of those mattered,” the now-fired marshal’s deputy told Hannity. “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.”
Earlier this month, a GoFundMe account set up for Silvester blew up to more than $406,000; the account now totals more than $533,000.
In a video post reacting to the outpouring of support, Silvester heaped praise on those backing law enforcement during these times where officers are routinely vilified.
“The vast majority of people in our country are amazing, decent, honest, compassionate, generous people. We just don’t get to hear from these people very often,” he said.
“Americans still love their police officers, they still love their men and women in blue, and you guys have made that resoundingly clear.”
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