An Idaho police officer who was placed on leave following a viral TikTok video has announced he will not only be keeping his job, but has also signed a book deal with Di Angelo publications, according to the Idaho Statesman.
Bellevue deputy marshal Nate Silvester told local Boise station KTVB-TV on Wednesday that he would be returning to work the following day after a one-week suspension over the TikTok video.
In the video, posted April 24, Silvester pretended to talk on the phone with NBA star LeBron James as a fictional stabbing took place outside his police vehicle, seemingly mocking the tweet James posted, and later deleted, criticizing the white Columbus, Ohio police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who was black, on April 20 as she attempted to stab a woman, who was also black, during a dispute.
Silvester pretended to react to James as if he was telling him how to handle the situation, saying, “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?”
The video received millions of views, but led to the Bellevue Marshal’s Office suspending Silvester, which he claims was without pay.
“The statements made do NOT represent the Bellevue Marshal’s Office,” the office said in a post on Facebook. “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.”
The post also stated the office would be handling the matter internally.
Mayor of Bellevue Ned Burns told the Idaho Mountain Express that a formal complaint had been filed against Silvester, but that the officer would not be fired.
Silvester said in another video he posted following the suspension that the working title of his book is “Never Off Duty.”
He also explained to KTVB-TV that the whole purpose of his TikTok account was to “humanize the badge.”
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