Idaho policeman mocks LeBron James tweet after police shooting, gets 3M TikTok views
Jacob Scholl, Idaho Statesman
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – An Idaho law enforcement officer went viral in recent days after posting a video on TikTok criticizing NBA star LeBron James for his comments about a police shooting in Ohio.
Other videos depict the Idaho marshal defending a Minnesota police officer who shot a man after confusing her Taser with her gun.
James, the star player for the Los Angeles Lakers, tweeted a photo last week of Columbus, Ohio, police officer Nicholas Reardon after the officer fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who is Black, four times. In the since-deleted tweet, James wrote “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
The tweet appeared to reference the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of killing George Floyd just a day before the Ohio police shooting.
After the shooting, police released a body camera video that allegedly showed Bryant attacking another Black person with a knife.
Nate Silvester, an officer in the Marshal’s Office in Bellevue, a tiny town south of Ketchum in Blaine County, posted a video on TikTok mocking James’ tweet. As he sits in the driver’s seat of a patrol car, Silvester asks an imaginary person outside the car to put down a knife while he pretends to take a call from the NBA superstar.
“There’s a guy trying to stab another guy, what do you think I should do?” Silvester asks James.
He later implies that James asked what the race of the two people are, and responds by asking, “Why does that matter?”
“OK, well, they’re both Black. One guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife. Deadly force is completely justified,” Silvester says.
He pauses, then asks: “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?”
Before driving away, Silvester says: “I mean, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again, you’re really good at basketball, so I guess I’ll take your word for it.”
The TikTok video had garnered more than 3 million views as of Monday afternoon.
In other videos on his TikTok account, Silvester defended Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer who was charged with second-degree manslaughter after the death of Daunte Wright. Potter was fired from her job as an officer and later charged after she reportedly confused her Taser with her handgun.
Responding to a comment, Silvester said in a video last Wednesday that Potter made a mistake, but “at least she had the balls to wear the badge and do the job for 26 years in an area like Minneapolis.”
According to a report from Newsweek, an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Silvester featured a video showing people lying in a street before depicting the inside of a car going over multiple bumps. The caption reportedly said “Me and the boys on our way to the (former President Donald) Trump rally.”
A call to the Bellevue Marshal’s Office was not returned as of Monday afternoon.
Silvester’s TikTok account had over 167,000 followers as of Monday afternoon.