MCKINNEY, Texas - McKinney police released body camera footage of the arrest of a city councilman following a traffic stop. Before seeing the video Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell had claimed he was racially profiled.
Shemwell said he does not believe he was speeding 20 miles over the limit on Tuesday when he was pulled over. He was arrested for refusing to sign the ticket.
"I came from a complete stop to a complete stop within two and a half blocks. My old 2004 Honda Accord doesn't move that fast,” he said. “I don't have tint on my windows. It was daytime. A black man with dreadlocks. At the time, my hair wasn't pinned back like this. They were falling down on my face. I believe I was racially profiled from the beginning.”
The McKinney Police Department released a statement in response to Shemwell’s claims.
"The officer cited Mr. Shemwell for speeding and for failure to change the address on his driver's license within the required 30-day period… Mr. Shemwell repeatedly refused to sign the citation,” police said.
Shemwell said at least three other officers were at the scene, and it was clear to him they knew he was a city council member.
The councilman won the seat a year ago. He ran for the office after he became known for participating in high-profile protests in Fort Worth and Arlington. The protests involved claims of police using excessive force.
"It’s not a secret that I'm an advocate against police brutality,” he said. “It’s not a secret that the McKinney Police Association endorsed my opponent and did not want me to win this seat."
"Me being a sitting city councilman here, I wasn't fleeing the state. I didn't have an out of state address,” he said. “He knows where I'm at on the first, third and fourth Mondays and Tuesdays. There was no need to take me to jail. I was not a flight risk.”
Shemwell said he hopes to turn the situation into something that will spur change.
"It’s just not good for the city,” he said. “It’s not good for the trust that we're trying to build as a community when it comes to the dynamics of the police and the community.”
Late Wednesday night, the McKinney Police Department released body cam video of the councilman’s arrest.
In the video, Shemwell can be heard asking the officer if he knows who he is and said he'll call the chief. The officer said he's going to cite him for both speeding and failing to change the address on his license within 30 days. When Shemwell refuses to sign the citation, the police officer arrests him.
FOX 4 contacted Shemwell again for comment after the video was released but did not hear back. He admitted to the Dallas Morning News that he was antagonistic with the officer and is not sure it was really a case of racial profiling.