A police officer in Idaho was fired after he went viral for mocking LeBron James’ request for police accountability in a TikTok video.
In the April video, former Bellevue deputy marshal Nate Silvester pretends to call James for advice on what to do while “witnessing” a Black person 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 says in the clip after implying “James” asked about the race of the individuals. “I mean, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again, you’re really good at basketball, so I guess I’ll take your word for it.”
Silvester, who has also previously defended Kim Potter on the platform, was in uniform and sitting in his patrol car in the video. He made the video in response to James’ since-deleted tweet, in which the NBA star posted a photo of Nicholas Reardon, the Columbus, Ohio, police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant after she allegedly lunged at another Black person while holding a knife. Reardon reportedly shot the Black teenager on April 20, the same day that former officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the murder of George Floyd.
“YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” James wrote with an hourglass emoji.
James later explained why he deleted the tweet. “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because it’s 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,” James said at the time. “ANGER does [not do] 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!”
After Silvester’s video went viral, the Bellevue Marshal’s Office distanced itself from his “statements,” saying they “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,” it said at the time, according to Yahoo News.
Silvester was reportedly initially suspended for the video. He was reportedly given a “last chance agreement” but was fired on Thursday for “continued policy violations.”
“During the week of May 20th, while on shift Deputy Marshal Silvester violated several clearly established City of Bellevue and State of Idaho Policing policies,” the city said in a statement on Facebook. “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.”
Following his termination, Silvester called himself the “latest target of cancel culture” in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“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.
He also reportedly told KTVB that he recently signed a book deal.
The Daily Dot has reached out to the Marshal’s Office in Bellevue.
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H/T Yahoo News