White Florida sheriff's deputy turned Tik Tok star with 'insensitive' videos imitating black people sparks race debate within his wealthy community where schools are still segregated and confederate flags fly free(10 Photos)

In one small Florida county, coronavirus has been briefly upstaged by the aftermath of a    story about a white local sheriff's deputy producing Tik Tok videos stuffed with the 'n' word and deemed by black leaders to be racially insensitive.
In Indian River County, home of the rich Atlantic beach town of Vero Beach, the incident gave rise to thousands of comments on social media that fell on two sides of the racial divide: White commentators, including business leaders and law enforcement officials, who said they don't get why anyone would make a big deal out of the videos.
Meanwhile black commentators, including local politicians, who are trying to explain why the videos posted by a law enforcement professional are offensive to them.
The story exposed Indian River County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Dilks who, in his uniform at the wheel of his marked SUV and at times with Heidi Dilks, his medical tech wife, lip-synced spoken lines from black actors or hip-hop tunes using a variety of racists and sexist terms like ni**a and bi**h.
Corporal Michael Dilks has become a Tik Tok sensation with videos he takes of himself and his wife, medical tech Heidi Dilks. The couple are being bashed as racist by the black community after DailyMail.com published an article about the videos
Corporal Michael Dilks has become a Tik Tok sensation with videos he takes of himself and his wife, medical tech Heidi Dilks. The couple are being bashed as racist by the black community after DailyMail.com published an article about the videos 
One video shows Dilks in his service SUV pretending to take his wife to jail. His service shotgun is propped up behind the seat while his wife imitates the voice of a black man
One video shows Dilks in his service SUV pretending to take his wife to jail. His service shotgun is propped up behind the seat while his wife imitates the voice of a black man
One video shows Dilks in his service SUV pretending to take his wife to jail. His service shotgun is propped up behind the seat while his wife dubs the voice of a black man

In an exclusive interview earlier this month, Dilks admitted to producing a few of the videos while on-duty, saying that '95 percent of them' were produced off-duty and posted to 60,000-plus Tik Tok followers, a surprisingly large audience for a small town producer.
But Friday's article appeared to hit a raw nerve in a place just north of Palm Beach where racism is rarely talked about but lived daily by minorities.
Authorities here are still working on desegregating schools more than 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered school boards nationally to use forced busing to make sure minorities had access good institutions.
And just three years ago, the Indian River County school board refused to vote for a ban of confederate flags on high school students' jackets and students' cars.
Now, the sheriff's office finally admitted to 'an inquiry' into Dilks' handy work as many of the 150,000 residents took to social media to sound off.
Take Matt Fulcher, for example.
A white adjunct professor in business at Indian River County State College, Fulcher got into a Facebook back and forth with former school board candidate Merchon Green, who is black.
Fulcher writes: 'Racist? Can someone explain to me what is racist about his videos? Because if they in fact are, the other million users on Tik Tok singing the same songs are also racists.'
Green replies:  'Of course you wouldn't consider it racist because it's not your race being targeted. Maybe you should take some cultural competency training.'
When reached later by phone, Fulcher said he has seen many police officers post the same content on social media.
'Because one person feels attacked is not a reason to label the man (Dilks) a racist,' he said.
Many of the 150,000 residents took to social media to sound off about Dilks' Tik Tok video in an argument about race
Many of the 150,000 residents took to social media to sound off about Dilks' Tik Tok video in an argument about race 
The Facebook fray was joined by Leroy Smith, a black retired sheriff's lieutenant whose storied career saw him take over the Indian River County Sheriff's Internal Affairs bureau.
'We (black people) are in a constant struggle to be treated fairly,' he wrote in his Facebook posting. 
'Our governing educators don't think we deserve a fair education and they have fought against a desegregation order for over 50 years. What does this have to do with a senior officer depicting black people as happy criminals. Everything! How he depicts a race of people denotes how he disrespects them and sadly he and his co-workers don't know it!... Remember he took an OATH to serve and protect...not to ridicule and disrespect… The moral compass of law enforcement officers must be intact at all times.'
Then current sheriff's office employee Paul Button, who is white, wrote: 'You are in a continuous fight with being treated unfairly, just as everyone else in this country.'
Sheriff's office officials, including Sheriff Deryl Loar and Public Information Officer Eric Flowers, refused to provide DailyMail.com with basic information about the deputy's career and current employment status, or whether he is under investigation.
Neither commented on whether their agency condones deputies in uniform posting on social media.
To the Miami Herald, however, Flowers emailed: 'We are aware of the situation and currently conducting an internal inquiry.'
Dilks didn't return text and voice messages asking for another interview. But according to their latest Tik Tok posts, Dilks and his wife appear to have been on a ranch in a northern state, this at a time when the sheriff's office extended shifts to 12 hours a day for the COVID-19 crisis.
Ultimately, whether the deputy's videos are proof of racism at the agency could be settled by voters.
With Loar retiring, the job of sheriff is up for grabs in the late summer elections.
Dilks insists he's showing law enforcement in a 'positive light' but has since pulled down the allegedly offensive videos
Dilks insists he's showing law enforcement in a 'positive light' but has since pulled down the allegedly offensive videos 
Another video shows Heidi lip-syncing to the recording left by an irate black woman on a company voice mail after she was taken off a schedule: 'This is for Rachel you big fat white nasty smelling fat bi**h. Why you took me off the motherf***ing schedule with your trifling dirty white racist a**?'
Another video shows Heidi lip-syncing to the recording left by an irate black woman on a company voice mail after she was taken off a schedule: 'This is for Rachel you big fat white nasty smelling fat bi**h. Why you took me off the motherf***ing schedule with your trifling dirty white racist a**?'
The issue has seeped into the campaign as four Republican candidates are battling for the nomination in an overwhelmingly Republican county.
'This is not making this area appear in a good light,' said Chuck Kirby, a retired 26-year veteran of the sheriff's office running for Loar's job. 'This incident has to be investigated. It's unacceptable.'
Candidate Rich Rosell, chief of public safety in the high-income beachside haven of Indian River Shores, called for live in-person racial sensitivity classes.
The sheriff's office has now admitted to 'an inquiry' into Dilks' videos
The sheriff's office has now admitted to 'an inquiry' into Dilks' videos 
'I don't mean the two-hour computer training that they get now,' he said. 'I mean eight hours in a classroom with visits from Jewish and Muslims speakers, gays, blacks, Hispanics and Asians.'
Candidate Keith Touchberry, current chief of police in the minority-heavy town of Fellsmere, called for a 'change of culture' and leadership within the agency.
'We need to know whether the deputy had written authorization from his superiors to post these videos,' Touchberry said. 'If he did, that's another can of worms.'
The fourth candidate is Flowers, who is not returning calls and emails requesting his comments.
An analysis of Dilks' Tik Tok account showed Flower's political account, Flowers4sheriff, is among Dilks' followers, raising questions about Flowers, who also happens to be Dilks' highest-ranking direct supervisor, possibly watching the offensive videos and failing to react to them.
Dilks' daughter, Linzi, recently threw more fuel to the fire by claiming on Facebook that her dad received permission from the sheriff's office to post in uniform on Tik Tok. She didn't respond to a request for further comment, and her postings vanished.
While Dilks pulled down the allegedly offensive Tik Tok bits within minutes of his interview with DailyMail.com in early March and replaced them with a video where he plays ball with black children, we did obtain copies.
The first showed Dilks pretending to take his wife to jail in the back of his service vehicle. His service shotgun can be seen propped up behind him. From behind a partition reserved for suspects, Heidi lip-syncs the voice of a possibly black man who first sings a line from James Brown's I Feel Good.
Dilks, in uniform, turns around and lip-syncs the voice of another man who says: 'Hey, why are you so happy back there while I'm taking you to jail?'
'I'm so happy boy,' his wife lip-syncs, 'Where you're taking me, I've got 24 hours away from my wife.'
In another, Dilks is out of uniform as he sits on the back seat of his wife's car. Heidi pretends to drive and lip-syncs the words of City Girls' Act Up song, 'Real A** Bi**h Give A F**k About A Ni**a'
In another, Dilks is out of uniform as he sits on the back seat of his wife's car. Heidi pretends to drive and lip-syncs the words of City Girls' Act Up song, 'Real A** Bi**h Give A F**k About A Ni**a'
In another, Dilks is out of uniform as he sits on the back seat of his wife's car. Heidi pretends to drive and lip-syncs the words of City Girls' Act Up song, 'Real A** Bi**h Give A F**k About A Ni**a'
In another, Dilks is recognizable but out of uniform as he sits on the back seat of his wife's car with Heidi pretending to drive and lip-syncing the words of City Girls' Act Up tune, 'Real A** Bi**h Give A Fu*k About A Ni**a.'
Widely used by middle and high school and college students, Tik Tok has also become a favorite with cops and firefighters who often pose in uniform. The Chinese-owned platform is mostly populated with videos 15 seconds or less showing people dancing to popular songs or lip-syncing to pre-loaded voices and songs.
When he spoke with DailyMail.com in early March, Dilks placed the blame for racially offensive material on Tik Tok.
'I'm successful on Tik Tok because I've got a real connection with the viewers,' the father of four said. 'My goal is to show cops are normal people who have some fun. It's all tasteful. Nothing crazy. And 95 percent of the posts are done off-duty.'
According to the copy of the sheriff's office Code of Conduct obtained by DailyMail.com, it appears Dilks violated the agency's social media policy where 'sheriff's office personnel are prohibited from using any photographs or videos containing sheriff's office uniforms, vehicles and other equipment belonging to the agency and/or anything identifying the Indian River County Sheriff's Office in any way that compromises or undermines the integrity of the sheriff's office for use on websites, television or print media.'
Former school board candidate Merchon Green, meanwhile, said the county, with 8 percent black residents, may be stuck in a racial time warp.
'In an area that's predominantly white, things like what's going on with that deputy are seldom pointed out or addressed.
'They say, 'oh, it's just in jest. Oh, black people are overly sensitive.' Then they ask, 'what's the big deal,' and when you try to explain it to them, they won't listen.
'If someone who has lived the black experience tells you it's offensive, then trust me, it's likely to be offensive.'
White Florida sheriff's deputy turned Tik Tok star with 'insensitive' videos imitating black people sparks race debate within his wealthy community where schools are still segregated and confederate flags fly free(10 Photos)  White Florida sheriff's deputy turned Tik Tok star with 'insensitive' videos imitating black people sparks race debate within his wealthy community where schools are still segregated and confederate flags fly free(10 Photos) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:03 Rating: 5

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