Idaho cop fired for mocking LeBron James on TikTok
“I am the latest target of cancel culture," former cop Nate Silvester said.
An Idaho police officer is out of a job after catching heat for mocking NBA star LeBron James.
Former Bellevue deputy marshal Nate Silvester went viral for a TikTok video in which he slammed James for involving himself in policing issues.
“I am the latest target of cancel culture,” Silvester told Sean Hannity on his Fox News show Thursday, hours after he was fired, The New York Post reports. “That’s all it is,” he added.
In the TikTok clip, Silvester pretends to be on the phone with James to get his advice while witnessing an imaginary Black man stab another Black person.
“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 said in the TikTok video posted on April 24. “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,” he continued, adding “#humanizethebadge”.
The video was his reaction to the controversial now-deleted tweet James posted about Nicholas Reardon, the white policeman who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, with an accompanying caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” along with an hourglass emoji. As theGRIO reported, James later explained why he deleted the post.
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!” he tweeted.
He continued in a separate post, “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
The Bellevue Marshal’s Office released a statement after Silvester’s video went viral.
“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.”
Silvester was initially suspended for his TikTok video and given a “last chance agreement” with his superior officers, according to the report. He was ultimately fired Thursday for what Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns said were “continued policy violations.”
“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 city said in a statement on Facebook. “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,” Burns added, asking for “calm and understanding.”
Silvester told KTVB in a recent interview that he signed a publishing deal for his book with the working title “Never Off Duty.”
“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,” he told Hannity.
*This story contains additional reporting from DeMicia Inman.
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