An Idaho deputy who mocked LeBron James’ take in a tweet has received $200,000 in donations toward his salary via a GoFundMe page created in his honor.
The page was set up to help cover Bellevue deputy marshal Nate Silvester’s lost wages after he mocked James on TikTok. Silvester has been reprimanded by the Bellevue Marshal’s Office for conducting a fake phone conversation with James while in uniform in a police vehicle.
Silvester’s exact punishment has not been disclosed.
After saying, “Excuse me, could you please put the knife down, sir,” Silvester pretended to ask James for advice as he acted out a scenario on the popular app.
“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 pretended to ask James. “I mean, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — but then again you are really good at basketball, so I guess I’ll take your word for it.”
The act continued after Silvester pretended to call LeBron a second time.
“LeBron? It’s me again,” Silvester said into his phone. “Listen, I’m out here at a disturbance call, and there’s a guy trying to stab another guy with a knife. What do you think I should do?”
Silvester then yelled out the window, as if he were following LeBron’s advice. “Sorry, guys, you’re on your own,” Silvester said. “Good luck!”
The Bellevue Marshal’s Office responded with a statement on Facebook: “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.”
All of it led to the the wildly popular GoFundMe account in support of Silvester.
As an aside, the page also now consists of three videos of Silvester thanking those who donated.
“We’re not going to tolerate being attacked or bullied or vilified in the media anymore,” Silvester said of police in one of the videos.
Last week, James tweeted a photo of an Ohio police officer with a caption that read, “You’re next. #accountability.” It followed the killing of a 16-year old girl who was holding a knife and lunging at another girl. The officer opened fire after repeatedly warning the suspect to stop.
James later deleted the tweet, saying it was being used “to create more hate.” Still, the tweet was widely criticized, even by those who typically support his messages on social justice.