MCKINNEY, Texas - After claiming he was racially profiled during a traffic stop and arrest, a McKinney councilman officially received a reprimand from the city council.
La'Shadion Shemwell actually voted to censure himself during Wednesday tonight's meeting. It doesn't change how he feels about the arrest, but he sees it as a way to move forward.
A group of citizens supported Shemwell and argued racism is a problem in McKinney. There was also a group of those who want him disciplined and are appalled by his actions.
Council members reminded people that the decision to discipline him is based on whether he violated city charter and not a racial issue.
In a surprising move, Shemwell motioned to discipline himself for violating city charter by directing a city employee to act. In this, he told an officer writing him tickets to call the police chief.
Shemwell says he was not speeding but was instead racially profiled by the McKinney officer who pulled him over May 8th. He argued with the officer and refused to sign tickets for speeding and having an outdated address on his license, leading to his arrest.
"I'm sorry for the drama that has led us here tonight,” the councilman said during the Wednesday night meeting. “On May eighth, I found myself fed up and frustrated at what I felt was another unnecessary and unwarranted traffic stop."
Shemwell now says his comments were interpreted to suggest that officer acted with "racially motivated intentions." For that, he’s apologized.
Activist Dominique Alexander threatened council if they did vote to discipline Shemwell.
"I promise in the morning some of you council members are going to have some information going through the news media,” he said. ‘And I promise you, we will protest here in the city of McKinney."
"If there's things you know of that someone is doing wrong on the council, it is your duty to put it out and not as a threat,” rebutted McKinney Mayor George Fuller. “That is ridiculous, absurd and fairly disgusting."
Council voted 6-1to approve censuring Shemwell. It was basically a public statement of disapproval.
"I'm all for racial discussion,” Fuller said. “But false narratives are not the way to do it."
When Shemwell was asked if he still feels he was racially profiled, he said he had no further comment on the issue.
"I think we've sparked a conversation that needs to be had and needed to be had for some years now so that we can turn something positive out of this negative,” he said.
Shemwell says there is no need for protests. He will still have to deal with those two citations and his arrest that will play out in court.