Idaho police officer raises $300k after mocking LeBron James
A GoFundMe campaign for Nate Silvester has reached more than half of its $500,000 goal
After going viral for a TikTok mocking Los Angeles Laker star Lebron James and the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant by Columbus, Ohio police, an Idaho officer has raised over $300k on GoFundMe.
According to Insider, Nate Silvester, a police officer in Bellevue, Idaho, recorded the video titled “here we go again” which has garnered over 5 million views.
“Dispatch, I have arrived,” Silvester said in the upload, pretending to talk on his police radio. Music from Spongebob played in the background of the video.
“Excuse me, sir, can you put the knife down please, sir,” he said outloud. Nobody else appeared in the video.
He then pretended to call James and asked, “What do you think I should do?” Silvester continued to set-up a fictional scenario mirroring the alleged circumstances surrounding Bryant’s death.
“Well they’re both Black,” he said. “One guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife. Deadly force is completely justified.”
He continued, “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 asked James.
According to the GoFundMe page, Silvester was allegedly suspended without pay and needs financial help. The effort, organized by Gannon Ward who identified himself as Silvester’s best friend, claims “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.”
He continued: “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!!”
Silvester has thanked his supporters, including an anonymous donor who gave $5,000. The campaign claims funding will not only financially support the officer, but may also help other officers through a new non-profit focused on police advocacy.
“We’re not going to tolerate being attacked or bullied or vilified in the media anymore,” Silvester said in a video uploaded to YouTube and posted to the GoFundMe landing page.
The Bellvue Marshal’s Office released a statement after the initial Tik Tok went viral.
“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,” read the Facebook published statement.
“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. We would like to thank everyone that took the time to reach out to us. We greatly value our relationship within our wonderful community.”
As theGrio previously reported, Ma’Khia Bryant was laid to rest on April 30 after being fatally shot by officer Nicholas Reardon on April 20.
Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty spoke at the teen’s home-going service.
“I’m going to bestow this Congressional resolution to you,” she said. “We need to send a message. I go back to Washington in seven days and I will fly a flag over this nation in the name of Ma’Khia Bryant.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!