An Idaho deputy marshal, who was seen making fun of LeBron James in a viral TicTalk video, now removed a tweet about Ma'khia Bryant's death for unrelated policy violations.
Mayor Ned Burns said in a Facebook post that Marshall, Nate Sylvester, was removed from the Bellview Marshall office effective Thursday. The firing was not caused by Sylvester's social media posts.
"During the week of May 20, Deputy Marshall Sylvester violated several clearly established City of Bellevue and State of Idaho policing policies during the shift. Deputy Marshall Sylvester was placed on probation following a violation of his previous policy and He was, it is said, a 'last chance agreement with his superiors', the mayor said.
According to Burns, the decision to sack Sylvester came from the Bellevue Marshall office. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
"The violation of the policy has nothing to do with the tone of his speech or his posting online," the mayor said. "He was not terminated for the content of his speech; he was terminated for his failure to follow a clearly laid down and well-established policy."
Sylvester posted the Tiktok video - which has been viewed more than 6 million times in April. In it, he pretends to radio to show that he is upset about a man who is trying to stab the other person. He says to "call LeBron immediately on my cellphone."
When he gets a preempt call, Sylvester asks the Los Angeles Lakers player how he should handle the situation.
"Alright, alright, they're both black. A man trying to stab another man with a knife, lethal force is completely justified," Sylvester says in the phone. "So you don't care that a black person kills another black person, but you do care that a white cop kills a black person, even if he is doing it to save the life of another black person ? "
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Sylvester says that James "doesn't fully understand," but "Then you're really good at basketball so I think I'll take your word for it."
The video was in response to James tweeting a photo that appeared to show the officer involved in the shooting of Bryant with the caption:
Bryant was killed by Columbus, Ohio in April, after a police officer responded to a call about someone armed with a knife. Police said the weapon was found near Bryant's body.
James later deleted his tweet saying he took it down because it was "being used to generate more hatred."
The Bellevue Marshal's Office responded to Sylvester's video in an April 27 Facebook post, stating that "the statements given do not represent the Bellevue Marshal's office."