*A GoFundMe campaign for an Idaho police officer has reached more than half of its $500,000 goal after he was suspended without pay for mocking LeBron James and the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant by Columbus, Ohio police.
Bryant was shot and killed the same day that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, sparking immediate outrage. Bodycam footage from the incident shows that Officer Nicholas Reardon shot Bryant four times as she was swinging a knife at another girl during an altercation.
James’ initial tweet read “YOU’RE NEXT #Accountability,” along with an hourglass emoji and a picture of Reardon. Before that, James had tweeted “ACCOUNTABILITY” after Chauvin was found guilty.
Within a few hours, James deleted the tweet, later explaining that it was being used to spread more hate.
According to Insider, Bellevue, Idaho cop Nate Silvester recorded a video response to James titled “here we go again,” which has gone viral with over 5 million views.
“Dispatch, I have arrived,” Silvester said in the upload, pretending to talk on his police radio, as music from Spongebob played in the background.
“Excuse me, sir, can you put the knife down please, sir,” he continued.
He then pretended to call James and asked, “What do you think I should do?” Silvester continued to set-up a fictional scenario mirroring the alleged circumstances surrounding Bryant’s death.
“Well they’re both Black,” he said. “One guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife. Deadly force is completely justified.”
He continued, “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 asked James.
According to the GoFundMe page, Silvester was allegedly suspended without pay and needs financial help. The effort, organized by Gannon Ward who identified himself as Silvester’s best friend, claims “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.”
He continued: “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!!”
Silvester thanked his supporters, including an anonymous donor who gave $5,000.
The Bellvue Marshal’s Office released a statement after the initial Tik Tok went viral.
“The Bellevue Marshal’s Office is aware of the extreme controversy regarding Deputy Marshal Silvester’s viral TikTok. The statements made do NOT represent the Bellevue Marshal’s Office,” read the Facebook published statement. “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. This is a personnel issue that is being dealt with internally. We would like to thank everyone that took the time to reach out to us. We greatly value our relationship within our wonderful community.”