McKinney citizens both supported and criticized a city councilman after a controversial arrest in which he claims he was racially profiled.
La'Shadion Shemwell claimed racial bias when he was arrested during a traffic stop last week for refusing to sign tickets for speeding and failing to change the outdated address on his driver’s license. He now admits he could've handled the situation, but he says he won't stop being a voice on race relations.
Body camera video showed the councilman telling the officer to call the police chief or that he was going to talk to the chief.
Citizens, the council and the mayor addressed the controversy during a Tuesday night meeting. The mayor said Shemwell is the one who showed bias during the traffic stop. Ge said there will be disciplinary action against Shemwell for his arrest.
Citizen comments lasted more than an hour at the beginning of the Tuesday council meeting. People both praised and condemned Shemwell for his actions.
Following those comments, council went into executive session to discuss his misconduct, then returned and shared their opinions one by one.
Almost every council member expressed their appreciation for Shemwell, the passion and diversity that he brings to council. But almost every member also expressed their disappointment by his actions for refusing to sign citations after being pulled over for speeding last week.
Shemwell maintains he was not speeding but was instead racially profiled. The McKinney Mayor George Fuller said there is no factual evidence of racial profiling in this instance and that his behavior was inappropriate, saying “a person refusing to obey the law is not a springboard for any movement."
"Many subscribe to the idea that you can only support black lives matter or back the blue, but not both. Why not support the truth?” the mayor said. “It is possible to believe racial profiling exists and at the same time see absolutely no evidence of it in this case."
"I did not run to make a statement. I ran to serve our community,” Shemwell said. “I will continue to serve. I will continue to lead and I will never stop speaking truth to power."
Shemwell said he does wish he had done better and will have his day in court on this issue. He had no further comment beyond that.
The wife of the officer who arrested him, Mandy Wilkerson, spoke with a support group and her husband at her side. She shared that her family has received threats, much like Shemwell has, because of the incident.
The president of the police association also spoke saying Shemwell has caused a false narrative of racism in the police department.