"Dream Defender" Arrested During Ft. Lauderdale Meeting Disturbance - NBC 6 South Florida

"Dream Defender" Arrested During Ft. Lauderdale Meeting Disturbance



    NBC 6's Sharon Lawson has the details after a Dream Defender protester was arrested in Fort Lauderdale during a commission meeting. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015)

    A member of the "Dream Defenders" activism group was arrested Wednesday following the disruption of a meeting in Fort Lauderdale.

    According to police, 22-year-old protester Demetrius Vaughn, of Lauderdale Lakes, was arrested as the group interrupted a Fort Lauderdale City Commission meeting.

    The meeting was to honor the city's police department, and the group was protesting that recognition in the wake of several of their members being arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police during "Black Lives Matter" protests at December's Winterfest Boat Parade, according to a report by the Sun-Sentinel.

    "I feel there was an injustice there," Vaughn said.

    "He was trying to exercise his right as a citizen and express his opinion," said Raphael De Mendonca.

    Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler had a much different take saying the group attempted to hijack Tuesday night's meeting by creating a disturbance.

    "If we're just going to be rude and disrespectful to others and say, 'I'm going to speak now out of turn,' that doesn't work," Seiler said.

    Seiler added the group never followed protocol by notifiying the city in order to speak during "Citizen Presentations" which take place the first Tuesday of the month.

    "I htink it really gives that group a bad name and I would have loved to hear their concerns about our police department," Seiler said.

    Vaughn was arrested and booked into Broward County's Main Jail at around 9:15 p.m. according to police records. He was charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing a public assemblage and resisting arrest without violence.

    He has since been released.

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