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Bellevue Fires Cop Who Went Viral On TikTok

In a screen capture of a TikTok video, Bellevue Deputy Marshal Nate Silvester is in a vehicle, in uniform and speaking into his walkie talk.
Screenshot of TikTok
Former Bellevue Deputy Marshal Nate Silvester posted a TikTok video on April 24 in which he mocks a tweet by LeBron James. The video has 6 million views.

The Bellevue Fire Marshal's office fired Deputy Marshal Nate Silvester who had gone viral for a controversial TikTok video.

Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns made the announcement Thursday morning on Facebook. He said Silvester violated several city and state policing policies while on duty during the week of May 20.

In late April, Silvester posted a TikTok video pretending to ask LeBron James for advice about a fictional disturbance call. It alluded to a deleted tweet the NBA player wrote after a police officer killed a Black teenage girl, Ma'Kahia Bryant, in Ohio.

In the video Silvester mocks James about the fictional scenario, saying, “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?”

The video has gotten 6 million views and Silvester has continued to post frequently on TikTok.

Burns said Silvester was not fired for 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.”

The Idaho Mountain Express reported a citizen then filed a formal complaint with the Marshal’s office shortly after the April video. The city wrote on Facebook that Silvester’s statements didn’t represent the office.

He was then placed on probation, according to the city, on a “‘last chance agreement’” with his superior officers” and was fired Thursday because of continued policy violations, according to Burns.

Earlier this month, Silvester signed a book deal with Di Angelo Publications for a book about a “revealing look at his life as a cop in 2021, the societal pressures of the job, the concept of being ‘never off duty,’ and standing up to speak on behalf of tens of thousands of silenced police officers and their frightened families.”

His blurb on the publication site says he was a detective for the Twin Falls Police Department for 12 years and had been with the Bellevue Police Department since December 2020.

Silvester posted a TikTok on May 4, in which he answers “hell no” to whether he regrets posting the original video.

A GoFundMe started on his behalf has raised half a million dollars, which he’s said will go to the First Responders Children's Foundation.

The decision to terminate Silvester was made solely by the Bellevue Marshals Office, according to Burns, and was not influenced by him or the city council.

“The City Council and I respect the way the Marshal runs her department, and we are supportive of the decision that was made in regards to consequences for not following policy. We wish Mr. Silvester the best, and we ask for calm and understanding,” Burns wrote.

Silvester did not respond to a request for comment by our deadline.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.

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