Winter Garden commission votes for moment of silence, pledge after meeting incident


WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – A Central Florida city is making changes after an incident at a city council meeting where the mayor asked police to remove a man who wouldn't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Winter Garden city commissioners voted 3 to 2 for a moment of silence and a Pledge of Allegiance, including the right for people to not stand or leave.

The vote comes a week after  Joseph Richardson, an activist with the Freedom From Religion Foundation who monitors the city's opening prayer, didn't pledge to the flag.

Winter Garden Mayor John Rees thought it was disrespectful and asked police to remove him.  When police approached Richardson left on his own.  He was not arrested, but said that action violated his rights.

Rees started Friday's meeting by apologizing.