Pinal County, AZ – The Idaho deputy marshal who was fired after mocking NBA star LeBron James in a now-viral TikTok video was offered a job at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) during a live television interview last week.
“I was policing in a very liberal area, the City of Bellevue Idaho,” Silvester explained. “The mayor and city council members [are] registered Democrats and they buy into this radicalism that’s being pushed by the left and especially the anti-police narrative – they’re buying into it totally.”
When the footage of Silvester mocking James went viral, city officials “weren’t happy about it,” Silvester said during the Newsmax interview.
“They learned that my political beliefs don’t align with theirs and they wanted me gone,” he said.
That’s when Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb chimed in with an alternative job offer for the veteran officer.
Sheriff Lamb said he would have absolutely no reservations or concerns about serving alongside Silvester in a law enforcement capacity.
Sheriff Lamb said “it took guts” for Silvester to speak out in support of his fellow law enforcement officers.
“Nate was speaking truth,” the sheriff said. “Too many agencies across this country are afraid of the cancel culture. They’re afraid to let their people speak truth.”
Pinal County respects the First Amendment rights of its employees, he said.
“All we ask as that they don’t do anything to disparage the badge or anything illegal, immoral, or unethical, and I didn’t see anything there that would qualify as that,” Sheriff Lamb said, referring to Silvester’s video.
“We’re hiring, Nate,” he said. “Come on down. We respect police in Arizona, especially in Pinal County. We’re always looking for guys who aren’t afraid to go out and do their job.”
Silvester posted the now-viral TikTok video shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers star posted a still photo of the Columbus police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she was trying to stab another female, the Idaho Mountain Express reported.
The Columbus Division of Police has since identified the officer as Officer Nicholas Reardon, according to WBNS.
James captioned the picture of Officer Reardon – “YOU’RE NEXT” – followed by an hourglass that implied a countdown, and the hashtag “#ACCOUNTABILITY.”
The since-deleted tweet sparked immediate outrage on social media, including from a number of professional athletes.
Deputy Marshal Silvester was one of many law enforcement officers who posted short video clips showing themselves pretending to reach out to the NBA star for advice on how to handle an array of urgent situations.
“Dispatch, I’ve arrived at that disturbance,” the deputy marshal said as he sat in his patrol vehicle with his radio in his hand. “Can you have LeBron call my cell phone right away please? Thank you.”
Deputy Marshal Silvester then rolled down his window and reservedly asked someone outside to put down a weapon.
“Excuse me, sir. Excuse me. No, can you put the knife down please sir?” he asked. “No, sir – don’t stab him. No, stop stabbing – oh hold on. Hold on, it’s LeBron.”
The deputy marshal then focused his attention on his pretend cell phone call with James.
“Yeah, it’s me again,” he told the NBA star. “Listen, I’m out here at this disturbance call and there’s a guy trying to stab another guy with a knife. What do you think I should do?”
Deputy Marshal Silvester then acted as if James asked him what color skin the individuals had.
“Why does that matter?” he asked. “Well, okay, they’re both black.”
Deputy Marshal Silvester noted that deadly force would be completely justified due to the fact that the suspect was actively trying to stab the victim, then paused as if he was listening to instructions from the other end of the line.
“I see. 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?” he asked.
“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 deputy marshal said. “Alright, thanks LeBron.”
He then waved out his window and told the pretend suspect and victim that they were on their own.
“Good luck!” he said.
Deputy Marshal Silvester was initially suspended without pay for one week as a result of the April 24 TikTok video.
But on May 27, he was fired altogether after city officials determined he “violated several clearly established City of Bellevue and State of Idaho Policing policies,” Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns said in a press release.
“After his previous policy violations Deputy Marshal Silvester was placed on probation and was on, what is called, a ‘last chance agreement’ with his superior officers,” Burns said. “Because of his continued policy violations, the Marshal has terminated Mr. Sylvester effective May 27th, 2021.”
The mayor claimed the video had nothing to do with Deputy Marshal Silvester’s ouster.
“The policy violations have nothing to do with the tone or the tenor of his speech that he posts online,” Burns wrote. “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 mayor further said he and the city council had nothing to do with the decision to fire Deputy Marshal Silvester.
“The decision was solely made by the command structure within the Bellevue Marshals office,” he said. “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 concluded.
Now-former Deputy Marshal Silvester confirmed his firing during an appearance on FOX’s Sean Hannity show later the same day.
“I’m the latest target of cancel culture, Sean. That’s all it is,” he said.
“None of my other videos that depicted me in my uniform or that involved body camera footage – none of those mattered. They didn’t care about those,” Silvester noted. “It wasn’t until my LeBron James TikTok surfaced and struck a political nerve that they started to pay attention and complain about it and came up with forms of discipline.”
Silvester said he has considered relocating to an area that is supportive of law enforcement officers in order to potentially continue his career.
“I’ve gotten several different offers from different leaders and agencies and elected officials from all over the country, so that’s not something that’s off the table,” he told Hannity.
The fundraising effort has raised over $543,000 so far.
A portion of those funds will also be given to the First Responders Children’s Foundation, Silvester noted.