Idaho police officer Nate Silvester is getting plenty of support after finding himself in hot water with his department over a viral TikTok video mocking NBA star LeBron James’ comments about the use of force by Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon.
Earlier this week, Silvester, an officer with the Marshal’s Office in Bellevue, Idaho, uploaded a skit on TikTok that shows him arriving at the scene of the crime and asking dispatch to contact LeBron for further instructions.
“Dispatch, I’ve arrived at that disturbance. Will you have LeBron call my cellphone right away please? Thank you”
“LeBron, hey, yeah it’s me again,” Silvester says. “Listen, I’m out here at this disturbance call and there’s a guy trying to stab another guy with a knife. What do you think I should do?”
“Okay, well, they’re both Black. One guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife,” Silvester says. “Deadly force is completely justified.”
“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?” “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.”
After the video went viral and was viewed by millions, Silvester’s employer, the Bellevue Marshal’s office, immediately denounced the video and promised to deal with him internally in a FaceBook post. Apparently, Silvester was suspended without pay for the viral TikTok video which led to his friend starting a GoFundMe fundraiser considering Silvester’s future with the department is now uncertain.
“Hi, my name is Gannon. 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. 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!!”
Update: As of Friday night, Silvester’s GoFundMe has raised over $250k just two days after it went live.
Silvester provided a video update thanking his supporters and saying he wants to shift the focus to other officers who have also been criticized by the media and celebrities for just doing their jobs.
I want to shift the focus from me onto the bigger picture which is law enforcement officer who find themselves in situations where after they’ve done their job and they’ve done the right thing are now being attacked by media and celebrities and people who want to vilify and crucify police officers for just doing their job. That’s what I’d like to focus on now. The additional funds that are coming in are going to be used to make more content to shed a positive light on law enforcement