BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho police officer's mocking TikTok in response to a since-deleted tweet from NBA superstar Lebron James has now gone viral.
Nate Silvester, who works for the Marshal's Office in Bellevue, Idaho, in Blaine County, posted a TikTok on Saturday following James' comments on a police shooting in Ohio. The Los Angeles Lakers star tweeted a photo of the officer who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant and wrote “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
In his TikTok, Silvester pretends to have a phone conversation with the NBA star while witnessing an imaginary Black person trying to stab another Black person, in reference to the fatal shooting of Bryant.
"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 said. "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."
Silvester included "#humanizethebadge" in his mocking video.
Silvester told KTVB that the officer involved in Ma'Khia Bryant's death "did the right thing" and shouldn't be "crucified by people like Lebron James."
"I feel as though we have a responsibility to speak out against things like that. Somebody has to be the voice for law enforcement, we don't necessarily have a voice," he said. "That officer in Columbus, Ohio, he was forced to make a terrible choice, he did his duty that day, he did the right thing and he should have been commended and not crucified by people like LeBron James."
"Officer Reardon he was put in an awful, terrible position and it's tragic what happened but that doesn't mean it's not justified," Silvester said. "Most people in this country don't know what it's like to be a police officer, they don't know what it's like to be in a stressful position like that."
Dan Prinzing, the executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights told KTVB, "While we could and should discuss intent, it is disturbing that the choice was to mock injustice. This is not a time for laughter, this is time for serious conversation. Etched in the stone of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us, 'We have to face the fact that either all of us are doing to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.' My preference would be that civility and compassion goes viral."
Silvester has also posted other, sometimes vulgar, TikToks, including one where he covers his face with a thin-blue line mask while audio of someone getting beaten plays, with the caption, "when a pedophile is about to get his [explictive] beat." He also appears to be in uniform in the video.
In another TikTok meant for his "haters," Silvester explained that he takes breaks throughout his shift and "can work and TikTok at the same time."
His first TikTok was of gameplay from the Call of Duty video game franchise on Dec. 12.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Silvester has over 190,000 followers on TikTok.