HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Five out of seven Hollywood commissioners ended a heated controversy late Wednesday over three streets named after Confederate generals.
After Commissioner Peter Hernandez walked of the dais, citing a violation of procedure, five commissioners voted to rename the streets honoring Robert E. Lee, John Bell Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was the Ku Klux Klan's first grand wizard.
"Living on a street named after him is like being asked to live on Hitler street," one resident told commissioners during a public meeting.
Others in attendance claimed that history, good or bad, shouldn't be erased.
"I'm offended by a lot of things that happen all over this country and this world," one man said. "We can't all fix it."
Others had more practical concerns.
"Who's going to pay for all this?" one woman asked.
The vote came after protesters gathered outside City Hall, calling on city leaders to change the names.
However, there was one man among the group who stood in favor of the signs.
"These people are committing genocide against the South," Christopher Monzon told Local 10 News.
Monzon, 22, was later arrested after cellphone video showed him crossing a police line, charging through with his Confederate flag.
"The current events being the violence instigated by these Communist individuals who seek to silence us through means of violence and coercion, they have kept them away from here, but they will not intimidate me," he said.
Shortly thereafter, he was handcuffed and taken to jail.
Next week, the commissioners of the city founded in 1925 will meet again to discuss the new names for the three streets.
Mayor Josh Levy and Commissioners Kevin Biederman, Linda Sherwood, Debra Case, who participated by speaker phone, and Dick Blattner voted in favor of changing the names. Vice Mayor Traci Callari was the dissenting vote.
Callari and Hernandez said they believe the decision should have been up to the residents living where the streets are and not up to the public officials. They said there are other streets in the city that are also named after Confederate generals.