Officials have suspended without pay the Belleview deputy marshal who mocked NBA star LeBron James’ for his comments on the Ohio cop who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she was attacking another teenaged girl with a knife.
In a video that has been shared over 4.2 million times on the social media platform TikTok, deputy marshal Nate Silvester pretended to seek permission from James before stopping a knife fight.
According to MEAWW, Silvester was subsequently suspended without pay after a citizen filed a complaint against the deputy over the viral video.
“The Bellevue Marshal’s Office is aware of the extreme controversy regarding Deputy Marshal Silvester’s viral TikTok,” the department said in a statement on Facebook Tuesday. “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. 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.”
The Bellevue Marshal’s Office is aware of the extreme controversy regarding Deputy Marshal Silvester’s viral TikTok. …Posted by Bellevue Marshal’s Office on Tuesday, April 27, 2021
After his suspension, Silvester’s friend launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the loss of income the deputy is facing. The effort has surpassed $200,000 as of Friday, April 30. Silvester said some of the money will be donated to a charity that supports children who have lost parents in the line of duty. A portion of the funds will also go toward creating new content that “sheds a positive light on law enforcement.”
“It’s overwhelming and humbling and I just can’t tell you how much I really appreciate you guys for everything that you’re doing,” Silvester said in another video. “Not just for me but for law enforcement officers all over the country.”
“I’d like to shift the focus from me onto the bigger picture, which is law enforcement officers who find themselves in situations where after they’ve done their job and they’ve done the right thing, that they’re being attacked by media and celebrities and people who want to vilify and crucify police officers for just doing their job. That’s what I want to focus on now,” he continued. “The additional funds that are coming in are going to be used to make more content to shed positive light on law enforcement, to humanize the badge and to make sure that people know that police officers are good, decent, ethical people doing a tough job.”
The video that led to Silvester’s suspension was created in response to James posting a photo of Ohio police officer Nicholas Reardon in a now-deleted tweet on Tuesday saying, “YOU’RE NEXT” along with an image of an hourglass and the hashtag “#ACCOUNTABILITY.”