Former Bellevue Deputy Marshal Nate Silvester speaks out
In April, Silvester made a viral TikTok video mocking NBA star LeBron James
BELLEVUE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Roughly a month after posting a viral TikTok video mocking NBA star LeBron James, Nate Silvester was fired from the Bellevue Marshal’s Office after he — according to Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns — violated city policies and Idaho State Policing Standards.
“I was suspended for a week without pay,” Silvester said. “However, I started to hear rumors through the grapevine that the mayor was brainstorming how he could terminate me and avoid any political blowback on his part, and so I kind of anticipated this was going to be the result. I was going to lose my job.”
Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns stated the decision was solely made by the Marshal’s Office. The decision, according to Burns, wasn’t related to Silvester voicing his political views, but rather when he shared those views.
“It’s disheartening that people believe it was based on the content of his speech or that it had anything to do with LeBron James,” said Burns. “It didn’t have anything to do with LeBron James at all. It had everything to do with when he was saying what he said, not what he was saying.”
According to Silvester, there was no malice intended with his videos, which he said were created in order to humanize the badge and shed a more positive light on police work.
“I don’t know when it became such a heinous crime to show your support for law enforcement officers,” said Silvester.
Despite him losing his job, Silvester plans to continue speaking up for law enforcement officers nationwide.
“I think that’s a much more important mission to pursue at this point,” said Silvester.
Silvester is grateful for the support he’s received, which has come in the form of letters, emails and a GoFundMe that has amassed well over $500,000.
“It’s not just supporting me, it’s supporting law enforcement as a whole,” said Silvester. “If other officers can even catch a glimpse of the type of support that I’ve experienced, then I think they’d have a better outlook on the future of law enforcement.”
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