Cop who mocked LeBron James keeps job – and supporters have raised nearly $500K for him

BELLEVUE, ID – The deputy marshal based out of Idaho that took to TikTok to mock LeBron James has managed to amass nearly $500,000 on a GoFundMe campaign started in order to create a monetary safety net after the deputy marshal was suspended for his social media hijinks.

The news is still relatively fresh, but Bellevue Deputy Marshal Nate Silvester will actually keep his job with the Bellevue Marshals’ Office, according to a statement delivered by Mayor Ned Burns on May 4th.

As many are already aware, Deputy Marshal Silvester had decided back in late April to upload a video to TikTok that poked fun at LeBron James’ take regarding an officer-involved shooting that proved fatal for an armed juvenile.

On April 27th, the Bellevue Marshals’ Office responded to some of the criticism that cropped up regarding the video uploaded to TikTok by Deputy Marshal Silvester:

“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.”

Following Deputy Marshal Silvester’s initial suspension, his future with respect to his employment with the Bellevue Marshals’ Office was uncertain – and thus a friend of his established a GoFundMe as a means to address that uncertainty:

“I started this GoFundMe to help out my friend Nate due to his suspension without pay over a viral TikTok. As I stated originally, the future of his job is still unclear, so I started this GoFundMe to help him. He is the sole beneficiary from this account.”

The fundraiser in question wound up taking off, amassing nearly $500K as of May 5th. Deputy Marshal Silvester noted, at the explosion of donated funds, that some of the donations would be used to create a new nonprofit organization that would support police officers.

Now while it has been confirmed that Deputy Marshal Silvester will keep his job by Mayor Burns, it doesn’t mean that it serves as an explicit or even tacit approval of his social media shenanigans.

According to Mayor Burns, the deputy marshals’ uploaded video while in uniform and inside of his patrol vehicle is in contrast with “city standards” of law enforcement officers:

“[Silvester’s actions] does not comport well with city standards, particularly when he’s on city time.”

While many who viewed the video by Deputy Marshal Silvester online found the antics to be humorous, the local City Council had adopted the Idaho Policing Policy in October of 2020, which apparently hosts language specific to social media use while on the clock.

However, there has been no confirmation by officials whether Deputy Marshal Silverster was on or off the clock at the time of the filmed TikTok skit.

Deputy Marshal Silverster’s direct supervisor, Marshal Mynde Heil, is handling the matter from here on out internally. While Mayor Burns confirmed he won’t be terminated, he did not disclose what repercussions Deputy Marshal Silvester may face from a disciplinary perspective.

Mayor Burns is aware that some community members may not be thrilled with the Bellevue Marshals’ Office decision to keep Deputy Marshal Silvester on-board, but stated that he hopes the deputy marshal can regain “the confidence” from those critics:

“I think he’s going to need to do some work to regain the confidence of some members of the community. We need to understand and validate those feelings… I hope he’ll be able to regain that trust.”

Perhaps the most important takeaway from this entire debacle is that, despite how tempting it may be, those within a law enforcement capacity need to be extremely cautious with how they utilize social media – whether on/off the clock, or in/out of uniform.

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We at Law Enforcement Today previous reported on the social media lampooning of LeBron James’ social media take regarding the incident from Ohio back in April. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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LOS ANGELES, CA– In a recent Twitter post, Lebron James targeted the officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant, the 16-year-old girl in Columbus that was attacking another young girl with a large knife.

Specifically, LeBron said “You’re next” above the photo of the officer.

It should be noted that at the time of his post, the officer’s identity hadn’t been revealed, and therefore many considered his actions to be “doxxing” the officer.

The post received harsh response from many across social media, including officers and celebrities alike.

Further, several of the nation’s police officers have taken to social media to mock Lebron James.

James has since deleted the tweet of the officer, which also included the hashtag “accountability,” but there are screenshots of it all over social media.

In response to James’ completely reckless and factually incorrect Twitter post, several police officers across the nation began posting videos having great fun at James’ expense.

In a TikTok video that has drawn nearly 2.5 million views and counting, Nate Silvester, an officer with the Marshal’s Office in Bellevue, Idaho took his mocking of James to another level. Watch below:

Sylvester, who hopefully will not see discipline for that comedic gem, was not the only one to get the James mocking memo.

Watch below:

After James deleted his initial posting, he later posted his “explanation” for deleting the tweet, but he did not apologize for the actual post.

He tweeted:

“ANGER does 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 to that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”

He added:

“I’m so (expletive) tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its 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.”

Unmentioned in James’ “explanation” tweet was that the “lil girl” he mentioned was trying to stab another girl who also happened to be African American. Police officers are not the only ones firing back at James.

A Cincinnati bar owner said he would not “air National Basketball Association (NBA) games until LeBron James is “expelled” from the league.

Owner Jay Linneman said:

“If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don’t come to Linnie’s Pub. We will not air them until LeBron James has been expelled from the NBA. They just need to play the game and that’s it.”

He added:

“Their opinion doesn’t really matter. They’re using their position to push their opinions and that’s just not right.”

In a “mature” response, James made fun of the bar owner and tweeted:

“Aww (expletive)! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp.”

Unfortunately, the NBA failed to even mention James’ tweet targeting the Columbus police officer let alone punish him for it. Fox News reported that James was accused by critics of leveraging his massive Twitter following to target the officer. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) tweeted:

“LeBron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer. This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?”

Former Major League baseball player Lenny Dykstra wrote:

“On behalf of pro athletes, current and former, I apologize for how #LeBronJames just showed his inner Maxine Waters and made a very real, ongoing threat to the life of the officer who quickly acted to prevent a knife attack from becoming worse. Many of us appreciate what LEOs do!”

OutKick founder Clay Travis tweeted:

“LeBron James doxes (sic) police officer who saved a teenage girl from being stabbed to death, demands officer be held accountable, sets new record for athlete stupidity.”

Conservative writer A.G. Hamilton said:

“That cop did nothing wrong by any reasonable standard and now someone with 50 million followers is encouraging attacks against him. That’s on top of countless news organizations lying about his actions. Decent people need to speak out. Real people will get hurt by this stuff.”

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The post Cop who mocked LeBron James keeps job – and supporters have raised nearly $500K for him appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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