Nate Silvester: Cop who mocked LeBron James fired, blames 'cancel culure'
Silvester went viral after a TikTok post saw him poke fun at James following the NBA legend's now-deleted tweet on the shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant
Former Idaho Marshal Nate Silvester, who was fired after a controversial TikTok video of him mocking NBA star LeBron James went viral, has now claimed he's the "latest victim of cancel culture." Silvester went viral after a TikTok post saw him poke fun at James following the basketball legend's now-deleted tweet on the shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, 16. The video saw Silvester pretending to call James to ask what he should do while witnessing a feigned knife attack involving a Black perpetrator and a Black victim.
The Bellevue Marshal's office publicly reprimanded and suspended Silvester after the video made waves across the internet. Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns announced the former deputy's ouster on Thursday saying he had "violated several clearly established City of Bellevue and State of Idaho Policing policies" while working his shift that day, Newsweek reported.
The mayor did not explain the nature of the violations in question, but claimed Silvester was not fired "for the content of his speech," but "his failure to follow clearly laid out and well-established policy."
Fox News anchor Sean Hannity told Silvester during his Thursday appearance on the network that Bellevue officials appeared "afraid that you're about to hire a lawyer and sue their asses off."
"Well, I'd like to think so," Silvester responded. "I'm the latest target of cancel culture, Sean, that's all it is."
"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 continued. "They knew they existed, but they didn't matter. It wasn't until my LeBron James TikTok surfaced and struck a political nerve that they started to pay attention and complain about it and come up with forms of discipline."
Hannity said he thought Silvester's video was rather "funny," unlike James "putting out what looked like a bounty, almost" on the head of Nicholas Reardon, the police officer who fatally shot Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, on April 20, when she was attacking another Black girl with a knife.
At the time, the Los Angeles Lakers forward shared a photo of Reardon on Twitter with the caption, "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY" alongside an hourglass emoticon. James took the tweet down after facing much backlash.
Hannity advised Silvester to pursue legal action of his termination. "Two quick questions, Nate: one, when are you going to sue?" Hannity asked. "And two, I know—cause we interviewed governors from around the country—they're looking for officers like you and they support their police officers, like South Dakota and Florida and elsewhere."
"Do you want to stay in law enforcement? I think you actually have a future in comedy, to be honest, you're pretty funny. Will you sue?" the Fox News host added.
Silvester responded saying that this was "stuff I'm still trying to wrap my head around at this point," before Hannity interjected: "Let me help you out: I would sue them. My two cents."
Silvester admitted that he was considering moving to a state that "supports their police officers." "I've gotten several officers from different leaders and agencies and elected officials, even, from all over the country, so that's not something that's off the table," he said.
It's worth noting that despite Silvester's ouster, he has garnered quite a following the professional fallout due to his TikTok post. Thousands of supporters donated to a fundraiser to support him and he has also landed a book deal to tell his story.