MIAMI -- A Florida man caught yelling "white power" during a pro-Trump golf cart parade in a video retweeted on Sunday by the president, then deleted hours later, has been outed online as a former Miami-Dade County firefighter.
One day later, his former department also took to Twitter to distance itself from 71-year-old Roger Stokes, a resident of The Villages, a massive retirement community an hour's drive northeast of Orlando.
"The statement made by a longtime retired employee does not reflect Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's core values of integrity and respect for the diverse and multi-cultural community we serve. This retired employee acted as a private citizen and his views and actions are not representative of who we are and what we stand for."
The video, showing a Villagers for Trump rally on June 14, Trump's birthday, sat on the Villages-News.com YouTube page for a fortnight in relative obscurity. Trump changed that with a since-deleted 7:39 a.m. Sunday retweet of an edited version of the video off the Twitter account @davenewworld(underscore)2:
"Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe (Biden) is shot. See you soon!!!"
What a White House spokesman later claimed the president didn't hear comes eight seconds into the edited version Trump retweeted.
As Stokes drove by in a pro-Trump golf cart parade, other Villages residents holding opposing views and signs screamed "Racist! Racist!" at their passing neighbors. Those chants obscured Stokes' initial response but the video caught him clearly yelling, "Yeah, you got it! White power! White power!" with a shake of the fist.
The Miami Herald tried to reach Stokes Monday to ask whether or not he was speaking with sarcasm. A home phone number for Stokes had been disconnected by Monday afternoon. A message left at a cellphone number hadn't been returned as of early Monday afternoon.
The backlash on social media was swift, with users on Twitter posting his identity by Sunday evening. Meanwhile, some Villages residents, not all of whom liked the area being known as a randy senior citizen playground, worried about what the national spotlight for this would do to its reputation.
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