BELLEVUE, ID – Nate Silvester, the Idaho police officer who gained a measure of viral fame recently with a Tik Tok video mocking NBA star LeBron James’ opinion on the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting has reportedly been suspended without pay while the incident is being investigated by his department.
According to Gannon Ward, a long-time friend of Silvester, the Marshal’s Office in Bellevue, Idaho has suspended the officer for his TikTok video for a week while they deal with the matter “internally.” It is currently unknown if Silvester will face any additional punitive measures.
“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. 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.” the office of the Bellevue Marshal said.
In the meantime, Ward has started a GoFundMe page for Silvester to help make up for his lost pay while he is serving out his suspension. Ward’s intro text on the GoFundMe page – which currently has raised $91,928 of a new increased $100,000 goal; its original $60,000 goal was quickly met. The effort paints a picture of a dedicated cop and friend who is being unfairly punished for an act of satire.
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“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,” Ward said. “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!!”
Last week NBA star James had tweeted “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” along with a photograph of the white officer that allegedly shot Ma’Khia Bryant – who was black – while she was attempting to stab another black female; many saw the move as James potentially targeting the law enforcement officer for violence. The tweet was later deleted.
Silvester posted a video skit on TikTok criticizing James’ original tweet earlier this week that has since acquired over 4.7 million views. The tongue-in-cheek video – posted with the hashtag #humanizethebadge – depicts Silvester sitting in the driver’s seat of his police cruiser and observing an imaginary knife attack while waiting for “LeBron James” to call to advise him how to proceed.