Resident Arrested After Clapping at City Council Meeting [VIDEO]
New Bedford resident and frequent City Council meeting attendee Evangelos "Gilly" Safioleas was arrested Thursday evening after his applause during discussion led to the meeting being halted by Council President Linda Morad.
This was nothing incredibly new within the council chamber, as Safioleas has been warned numerous times by Morad and other councilors to refrain from clapping during meetings since Morad became president in January.
Safioleas was also escorted from a February meeting by police for similar behavior, which Morad said breaks decorum.
"This has been coming for a while," Morad said after the meeting. "Different people have tried to work with [Safioleas] to make him understand that there are rules and regulations."
While explaining his case to police, Safioleas said Morad has singled him out and that she has a "vendetta" against him.
He told officers he wouldn't leave the council chamber without being placed in handcuffs.
Safioleas was eventually led out of City Hall by four New Bedford Police Officers and the meeting resumed after a nearly 30 minute recess.
Morad explained that the public's right to free speech is protected within City Hall, but there is a line that shouldn't be crossed.
"Disrupting during debate, making people lose their train of thought or speaking out loud during the course of the council meeting is not appropriate and it's been addressed," said Morad. "I guess after a while you just have to put your foot down."