Idaho police officer Nate Silvester was fired on Thursday for what the mayor of Bellevue called “his failure to follow clearly laid out well-established policies” after making a viral TikTok video mocking LeBron James.
Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns wished Silvester “the best” and pleaded for “calm and understanding” after the termination.
Silvester was placed on leave after making the video that targeted the NBA star for going after a police officer on Twitter after he shot and killed a teenager who was trying to stab another girl to death in Ohio. James’ since-deleted tweet read: “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.” The officer’s video received millions of views.
“I am the latest target of cancel culture, Sean. That’s all it is,” Silvester told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday. “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.”
Silvester had initially been suspended from the Bellevue Marshal’s Office for one week after the video aired on April 24. In it, he pretended to speak with James on his cellphone as an imaginary suspect stabbed a victim outside his vehicle. The video was in response to the shooting of a black teenager named Ma’Khia Bryant on April 20.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Hannity urged the former officer to “sue their a**es off.”
“I am still trying to wrap my head around that. I was just fired this morning,” Silvester angrily noted. He is planning on consulting with his attorney on moving forward with a legal response.
Bellevue’s mayor posted on the city’s Facebook page that Silvester was terminated effective May 27, 2021.
Burns claimed that during Silvester’s shift for the week of May 20, he violated several clearly established city and state policing policies. It is unclear exactly what is meant by that statement. The deputy was put on probation and given what is called a “last chance agreement” with his superior officers. Due to what they claim are ongoing policy violations, he was let go, according to the mayor.
The mayor went on to state that Silvester was not terminated for the content of his speech. He asserted that the decision was made by the deputy’s commanders and not himself or the city council. The decision was allegedly made by City Marshal Mynde Heil. Burns concluded by saying, “We wish Mr. Silvester the best, and we ask for calm and understanding.”
Silvester is not giving up on being a police officer either and seems to have numerous offers pending: “I have considered that. I got offers from different agencies and elected officials from across the country. It’s not off the table.”
He is also writing a book entitled: “Never Off Duty.” Silvester’s proclaimed purpose for the video in the first place was to “humanize the badge” and his book reportedly carries that theme forward.
The officer has continued his TikTok videos despite being pressured over them. His latest video features gunshots that can be heard at the George Floyd Square in Minneapolis close to the place where Floyd was killed. Silvester ends the video by flatly stating: “I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate the memory of a career criminal than to have a shootout in the middle of a public street.”
A GoFundMe account created for Silvester has now raised more than $527,000. The now-former deputy says the money raised will go to the First Responders Children’s Foundation and he will also create a scholarship fund for displaced police officers.
Support was strong on Twitter for the officer:
Hope they came up with more than that or his lawyers should be having a great year pic.twitter.com/eQRtYYVv8n
— Ayana Aquila (@bombshell1331) May 28, 2021
That’s because #blm now runs the police stations
— Oil & Clean Energy Electric Vehicles Contrarian (@BakkenShale) May 28, 2021
Sue the department. You did nothing wrong crybaby James should be fined and UNDER the JAIL.
— Tina B Stone (@TinaBStone2) May 28, 2021
Democrats will somehow applaud this. Yea! another cop is taken down by the woke mob!
— Philip Wilson (@philipwilson56) May 28, 2021
LOVE THAT VIDEO !!!
— Brandt (@MuddleHen) May 28, 2021
Time for this gentleman to sue his former agency leadership!!
— tango16 (@tango161) May 28, 2021
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