Nate Silvester, the Idaho cop who mocked Lebron James in a viral video on TikTok, has been fired. The former cop recorded the video in response to the basketball star’s angry reaction to the April 20 death of Ma’Khia Bryant. The 16-year-old African-American girl was fatally shot by an Ohio cop while responding to a domestic disturbance call.
According to Fox News, Silvester was terminated from the Bellevue Marshals Office on Thursday. The now out-of-job Silvester was initially placed on a one-week suspension after he shared the April 24 video. Responding to his termination, Silvester told the news outlet he believes he’s the “latest target of cancel culture.”
“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,” Silvester added.
But Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns said Silvester was terminated from the force because of “continued policy violations,” New York Post reported. “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 clarified. The mayor also called for “calm and understanding” in the wake of the announcement.
In a statement on Friday, the city also explained Silvester wasn’t fired for the “content of his speech” but rather his “failure to follow clearly laid out and well established policy.”
Silvester recorded the viral video in response to James’ social media comments on the shooting of Bryant. In the since-deleted April 21 tweet, the Los Angeles Lakers star reportedly posted a photo of the officer who allegedly shot Bryant. He captioned the photo, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY”, and ended the post with an hourglass emoji.
In the TikTok video, Silvester pretended he was on the phone with James and was seeking the basketball star’s advice on how to de-escalate a fictional incident involving a Black person attempting to stab another Black individual, New York Post reported.
“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 video which has been viewed over a million times.
“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,” the fired cop added.
Despite his termination, Silvester said he’s considering joining another law enforcement agency and he has even received offers.