In a video released in early June, just days after his firing from the Bellevue Marshal’s Office, former Idaho police officer Nate Silvester—who got internet famous in April with a viral TikTok mocking LeBron James’ tweet calling for accountability for the cop who killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant — stated that the teen girl’s “death was tragic but it was also justified.” He also chastised his critics’ “radical woke ideologies,” and issued a declaration, or perhaps a warning, that “because I’m not wearing a badge anymore, you’re going to be hearing a lot more from me, so buckle up.”
Now Silvester seems to be delivering on that promise, by launching a police-boosting podcast, writing a book about being a cop that’s slated for release later this year, and founding a nonprofit to give financial aid to police officers who have been unfairly “mistreated.” He’s also expanding his social media footprint to defend law enforcement agents from what he described to me as the “anti-police sentiment… of the left.”
All this is made possible not only by the free time of unemployment, but also because of a GoFundMe campaign for Silvester that has seen the donations roll in. The campaign, launched by Silvester’s friend Gannon Ward on April 28, initially had a goal of just $10,000—money meant to supplement “at least a week’s worth of pay for suspension” from the Marshal’s Office after Silvester’s TikTok went viral and officials put out a statement declaring “this is NOT how we expect our Deputies to act on duty or use city time.” Three days later, the GoFundMe had over $200,000 in donations; less than a week after that, funds topped $460,000. As the pot has climbed, and the organizer has repeatedly increased the target monetary goal, Silvester has thanked donors via short talking-head videos posted on the campaign page. “We’re not going to tolerate being attacked or bullied or vilified in the media anymore,” he told followers in an early clip.