Cop suspended for LeBron video vows to fight media, pay it forward after donations SOAR

Idaho police officer Nate Silvester, who was reportedly suspended for making a viral video that mocked LeBron James, has now raked in nearly $200k on GoFundMe and is now proclaiming: “We will not be attacked or vilified in the media anymore.”

The huge amount raised in support of Silvester exercising his right to free speech was accomplished in just a few days. He is overwhelmed by the support he has been receiving. Silvester is planning on donating a portion of the proceeds to the families of fallen officers and first responders.

Silvester is an officer in Bellevue, Idaho. He was suspended for one week after he released the viral TikTok video that made fun of James who sent out an anti-cop tweet threatening the Ohio police officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant by saying “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.

The fundraiser was initiated by Silvester’s friend, Gannon Ward. The opening reads as follows: “Hi, my name is Gannon. The recent viral TikTok video of a cop calling out Lebron James has cost the cop, my best friend in the world, Officer Nate Silvester a suspension without pay. He’s still got his job for now, but apparently the town where he polices didn’t find his TikTok as amazingly comical, and accurate as the 4.5 million viewers did, including some major news networks. The future is uncertain. I just don’t want to see my friend lose out on any money for this, when it was meant to be satirical, and to point out an obvious flaw in Lebron’s logic. Please donate what you can contribute. Every dollar helps! Thanks!!”

After receiving far more in donations than anticipated, Ward upped the goal, stating: “Nate is beside himself!! He is SO GRATEFUL for everyone’s donations. He was literally speechless. He has decided to donate a portion to the charity The First Responders Children’s Foundation… His focus now is to help other officers and their families in similar situations!” As of this writing, the GoFundMe campaign has raised in excess of $194k.

The GoFundMe page also has a “video update” where Silvester, in his off-duty clothing, expresses his thanks to those who donated and emailed him. He claims he will make more content that will show law enforcement officers “in a positive light.”

(Video Credit: Nate Silvester GoFundMe Campaign)

Silvester reportedly expected some blowback over the video: “I never expected my Tiktok to go viral the way it did. However, when it started gaining traction I anticipated that some would come out in opposition and there would be some blowback.” He remarked that both his fellow officers and his bosses were supportive of the video.

“My immediate supervisors and coworkers have been supportive but have also tried to stay neutral so as not to put their jobs at risk — which is very understandable. They are great officers and incredible human beings,” Silvester commented.

Silvester’s police department announced on Tuesday that they were “internally” dealing with him.

“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 Marshal’s Office wrote in a Facebook statement. “We would like to thank everyone that took the time to reach out to us. We greatly value our relationship within our wonderful community.”

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