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Donors raised $ 300,000 for an Idaho cop who made a viral video on TikTok.
In the video, the officer mocked LeBron James and his concerns about the police shootings.
The officer said he wanted to create a non-profit organization for the police “in these very difficult situations”.
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Donors raised nearly $ 300,000 in three days on behalf of a cop in a small town in Idaho whose viral TikTok appeared to mock LeBron James for expressing concern over the police murder in Ma ‘Khia Bryant, 16.
The money was raised for Bellevue, Idaho, Police Officer Nate Silvester through a GoFundMe campaign run by a man describing himself as Silverster’s “best friend”. In the campaign description, the organizer said Silvester was forcibly suspended without pay because of the video.
As the Idaho statesman reported on Saturday, Bellevue officials have yet to confirm whether Silvester has in fact been suspended.
Bellevue Marshal Mynde Heil did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Silvester’s employment in the city police. Silvester also did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
“Marshal Bellevue’s office is aware of the extreme controversy surrounding Sub Marshal Silvester’s viral TikTok,” Marshal’s office said in a statement on Facebook Tuesday. “The statements made do NOT represent the office of Marshal de Bellevue.”
He said it was a “personnel issue” which was under internal investigation.
In the viral video, which on Saturday recorded 5.1 million views and over 700,000 likes, Silvester sat in his police car and performed a skit titled “We’re Going Again”.
“Sending, I have arrived,” Silvester said, pretending to speak on his police radio. Music from “Spongebob” played in the background of the video.
He also rolled down the window and started talking to people standing outside, although he didn’t appear to be talking to anyone.
“Excuse me, sir, can you put the knife down please, sir?” Silvester said in the video, indicating that one of the offscreen characters in the sketch was holding a knife.
Then he pretended to receive a phone call from Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James. After Bryant was killed on April 21, James posted, and ultimately deleted, a tweet that read, “YOU ARE NEXT.” James called for “responsibility” and included in the tweet a photo of Nicholas Reardon, the officer who shot Byrant four times.
James later deleted the tweet to prevent the spread of new hatred, he said.
The script clearly references Bryant, who in police bodycam footage appeared to pounce on another girl with a knife. Bryant’s murder sparked protests and an uproar, and the mayor of Columbus called on the Justice Department to screen the police force for any cases of racial bias.
The April 20 shooting took place roughly half an hour before a jury found former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, including the death sparked unrest across the country and calls for reform and abolition of the police.
“What do you think I should do?” Silvester asked the basketball player in the skit. James wasn’t really on the other end of the phone.
Silvester went on to state that the character in his sketch holding the knife was Black, implying that the fake James had asked about the man’s race.
“Well they’re both black,” he said. “A guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife. Lethal force is quite justified.
“So you don’t care if a black person kills another black person, but you care if a white cop kills a black person even though he does it to save the life of another black person?” Silvester asked James.
Towards the end of the video, Silvester thanked James, pretended to hang up the phone, and told the fictitious people outside his window that they were alone, wishing them “good luck.”
In another video on his page, Silvester also appeared to defend Kimberly Potter, the Minnesota police officer who last month shot and killed Daunte Wright in her car when she said she intended to unload her. Taser rather than his weapon.
“The female officer in the Daunte Wright incident af —- d up big time,” he said. “She made a huge mistake. It’s horrible. It’s horrible. But at least she had the balls to wear the badge and get the job done for 26 years in an area like Minneapolis.”
An Instagram account that appeared to belong to Silvester included pro-Trump memes and one that appeared to joke about knocking down protesters lying on the road, Newsweek first reported.
In a video posted to TikTok on Friday, Silvester thanked those who donated and said he wanted to take the discussion away from him and build more support for the police.
“I want to shift the focus with this GoFundMe campaign from me to the big picture, which involves law enforcement across the country,” he said. “We see good police officers literally quitting their jobs because it is no longer worth being a police officer.
“They are no longer incentivized to do the job. It is no longer safe and it is not healthy for them or their families. They are constantly vilified and demonized by Hollywood, by the media, and we cannot defend more. “
He added that he was in the “early stages” of launching a non-profit organization that exists to help agents who “find themselves in these very difficult situations”.
“We are going to put it in place and make it work,” he said. “We’re going to start taking care of our men and women in blue.”
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