A uniformed police officer recently took time out of his shift to set up a selfie video and mock NBA superstar Lebron James' recent comments regarding police accountability.
Nate Silvester, an officer serving Idaho's Bellevue Marshal's Office, filmed himself sitting in his squad car pretending to have a conversation with James, who sparked dynamic debates across the internet with his outspoken criticism of the officers involved in a Columbus, Ohio police shooting.
In the video, Silvester, who sported a Blue Lives Matter flag on his uniform, sat in the driver's seat and put together a sarcastic performance to make fun of James' decision to weigh in on well-documented racial bias policing:
"Dispatch, I've arrived at that disturbance. Will you have LeBron call my cellphone right away, please? Thank you."
Silvester then pretended to tell someone outside his cruiser window to "put the knife down" and "stop stabbing" before telling the fictional perp to stop because Lebron was calling him.
He then acted out a conversation with James:
"LeBron, hey, yeah it's me again. 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?"
Silvester then implied James asked about the race of the fictional person outside the car:
"OK, well, they're both Black. One guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife. Deadly force is completely justified."
"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?"
"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."
Although James has repeatedly advocated for an end to institutional racism in law enforcement across the United States, Silvester's performance was a direct response to a specific tweet James posted following the death of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant at the hands of police in Columbus, Ohio.
In the now-deleted tweet, James posted a photo of one of the officers involved in the incident and included a simple caption:
"You're next. #accountability."
James' tweet drew both support and outrage.
The controversy eventually led James to remove the tweet, though he later held firm to his criticisms of the police system.
I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create m… https://t.co/aP2xoizYEk— LeBron James (@LeBron James) 1619047885.0
TikTokers who saw Silvester's mocking video about the death of a 16-year-old girl were outraged.
Silvester's department stated they are handling the issue internally.