You may recall a viral video made by Nate Silvester who was a marshal with the Bellevue Marshal’s Office in Idaho.
Silvester was known for making funny videos in the past. But the one that he made about NBA star LeBron James got him in big trouble, perhaps because it really hit hard at some basic truths and problems with what LeBron James was saying about the Columbus, Ohio police-involved shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. Bryant was lunging at another girl with a knife when a police officer shot her, defending the other girl.
LeBron James then threatened the officer involved in the shooting in a since-deleted tweet and claimed he wanted “accountability” for the shooting.
In the video, Silvester pretends to be talking to LeBron, “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. “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 says. Then he adds the killer line that “Michael Jordan is the GOAT.”
But now he’s been officially fired. The mayor of Bellevue, Ned Burns, claimed the decision was made by commanders in the Marshal’s Office and was because of violations of policies, and that it had nothing to do with the nature of his speech on the video. Burns said, “We wish Mr. Silvester the best, and we ask for calm and understanding.”
“None of my other videos that depicted me in my uniform or that involved body camera footage, none of those mattered. They didn’t care about those,” he said. “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 said.
Silvester said he wasn’t sure if he was going to sue, but told Hannity that he’d received employment offers from other law enforcement agencies.
He also has a deal to write a book. A GoFundMe that was organized to help him during his suspension has garnered more than $521,000. Silvester has said that he is going to give that money to the First Responders Children’s Foundation and that another portion would go to a scholarship fund for displaced police officers.
His point is a great one. There is no doubt there are a lot of policies out there about doing things in uniform. But if they didn’t have an issue with it before, why did they suddenly have one now? While they claim it has nothing to do with the content, it’s pretty hard to believe that. It’s all about the content and the sudden attention with which they didn’t want to deal. Fortunately, it sounds like he might have other options. But just one more sample of punishment for the wrong political opinion in the eyes of the powers that be.