McKINNEY, Texas - The McKinney City Council will accept public comments about the controversial arrest of one of its council members.
The arrest was on the agenda to be discussed during a work session Monday night. The discussion was postponed so that the public could provide input during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell was arrested during a traffic stop last week for speeding and not updating the address on his driver’s license. He claimed racial bias.
He was handcuffed and booked into jail after repeatedly refusing to sign the citations. During the encounter captured on police body camera, the council member told the officer he's going to talk to the police chief about it.
Shemwell assumed his seat on the council for Monday night’s work session. There was an item on the agenda to "discuss remedies for council member misconduct...including censure.” But after it was discussed privately in executive session, Mayor George Fuller returned and addressed the public about the issue.
"I have been notified repeatedly by every which method, email, phone call, text, and social media that there are a lot of people who want to come speak to this item tomorrow. Tonight, of course, we do not have public comments, nor do we have council comments on the agenda,” the mayor said. “We are going to wait until tomorrow night and hear the comments from the public and then comments from council on this item."
Since the interview Shemwell gave media the day after his arrest, he has maintained he was not speeding and was instead racially profiled. He said in a statement that both the initial stop and his subsequent arrest were racially motivated.
“I think that his intent was to make a name for himself,” Shemwell said. “His intent was a malicious and egregious intent.”
Mayor George Fuller also released a statement accusing Shemwell of being the one with the bias against police. He said that Shemwell was also pulled over in March and "exchanged 32 lines of dialogue with the officer concerning the necessity of signing a citation."
The mayor went on to say that Shemwell acted defiantly stating, "If Mr. Shemwell believed that he was not speeding and this traffic stop was an act of racial profiling, there are procedures in place to pursue that claim."
When asked about the executive session after Monday’s meeting, Shemwell and Fuller said it was a passionate discussion.
“See you tomorrow night,” they said.
Although it is too late to put anything regarding the arrest on the agenda for Tuesday night, Mayor Fuller said there would be time for public and council comment.