Deputy who was fired for viral TikTok video mocking LeBron James gets job offer while on live TV
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by Jenna Curren
Sat Jun 19 2021
PINAL COUNTY, AZ– The Idaho deputy marshal who was fired after mocking NBA player LeBron James in a now-viral TikTok video was offered a job at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) during a live television interview.
Nate Silvester, a former police officer with the Bellevue Marshal’s Office in Idaho, was fired after the video made its rounds on social media platforms. Silvester was talking to Newsmax about being fired by his department in the wake of the widely-shared TikTok video.
In April, James came under fire after he posted a photo to Twitter featuring the officer involved in the shooting of Ohio teen Ma’Khia Bryant. He captioned the officers’ photo with:
“YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
Following the tweet, Silvester made headlines with his impersonation of an officer phoning James for direction on how to handle a police call. During his recent interview with Newsmax, Silvester recalled his firing and said:
“I was policing a very liberal area, the city of Bellevue, Idaho. The mayor and city council members are registered Democrats and they buy into this radicalism that’s being pushed by the left and especially the anti-police narrative. They’re buying into it totally.”
He said that after his video went viral, city officials were not happy and immediately began plotting his removal. While interviewing with Newsmax, Silvester was speaking with Newsmax’s Chris Salcedo and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.
That is when Lamb told Silvester that he would be glad to give him a job at the sheriff’s office. Lamb praised Silvester and told him that he had “guts” in standing up for what he believed. He added:
“Nate was speaking truth. Too many agencies across this country are afraid of cancel culture. They’re afraid to let their people speak truth. We respect the First Amendment, even with our employees. All we ask is that they don’t do anything to disparage the badge or anything illegal, immoral, or unethical.”
Lamb added that he saw nothing wrong with Silvester’s video. He said:
“We’re hiring, Nate. Come on down. We respect police in Arizona, especially in Pinal County. We’re always looking for guys who aren’t afraid to go out and do their job.”
Silvester was initially suspended without pay for one week as a result of the April 24th TikTok video. But, on May 27th, he was fired altogether after city officials determined he “violated several clearly established City of Bellevue and State of Idaho policing policies.” In the press release, Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns said, in part:
“After his previous policy violations Deputy Marshal Silvester was placed on probation and was on, what is called, a ‘last change agreement’ with his superior officers. Because of his continued policy violations, the Marshal’s have terminated Mr. Silvester effective May 27th, 2021.”
The mayor claimed that the video had nothing to do with Silvester’s termination. He said:
“The policy violations have nothing to do with the tone or the tenor of his speech that he posts online. He was not terminated for the content of his speech; he was terminated for his failure to follow clearly laid out and well established policy.”
Silvester confirmed his firing during an appearance on Fox’s Sean Hannity show later that same day. He said:
“I’m the latest target of cancel culture. 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.”
“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 came up with forms of discipline.”
Silvester said he has considered relocating to an area that is supportive of law enforcement officers in order to potentially continue his career of protecting and serving. He said:
“I’ve gotten several different offers from different leaders and agencies and elected officials from all over the country, so that’s not something that’s off the table.”
Silvester has revealed that he recently signed a deal with Di Angelo Publications to write a book titled “Never Off Duty.” He said that is is also establishing a foundation to help support law enforcement, a venture that was made possible by generous donations to his GoFundMe campaign.
The fundraising effort has raised over $543,000 so far and a portion of those funds will also be given to the First Responders Children’s Foundation.