Emotions Run High at McKinney City Council Meeting

Emotions ran high as the issue of race and policing in McKinney overtook the city council meeting on Tuesday.

It’s the first meeting since Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell declared a "black state of emergency" urging black people not to travel to Texas.

Shemwell has been highly critical of the way he says McKinney police treat members of the black community.

Dozens of people spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.

The clash began during a work session before the council meeting.

The issue was a request for police records by Shemwell which the mayor said could cost $250,000. Police Chief Greg Conley said fulfilling the request would take 8,030 hours.

Council chambers reached capacity by the time the meeting began.

Almost everyone was there to speak about 'black state of emergency' declared by Shemwell.

“I want to make it clear for the people here today or who are watching from home. One person does not speak for the black community,” said Michael Jones, a McKinney resident.

The declaration came weeks after a former Dallas officer was convicted of murdering Botham Jean in his apartment, and days after Atatiana Jefferson was killed by an officer in Fort Worth.

Last week, McKinney police arrested a 14-year-old who they say refused to leave a movie theater. The teen’s parents said he suffered a dislocated shoulder.

It all led to a proverbial pressure cooker during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m sick and tired of you guys treating him [Shemwell] as if he has to be what you want him to be and not what we need!” exclaimed Lelani Russell, a Shemwell supporter.

Among those at the podium were supporters of Shemwell and critics.

The mayor's wife also spoke, saying activists showed up at their home over the weekend.

“We're a family who loves beyond color,” said Maylee Fuller.

Shemwell's mother spoke in his defense too.

“This is a good man. I know it because I raised him. I am hardened. I am hurt because I love the city of McKinney and I love him,” said Rolanda Mocharia, Shemwell's mother.

Members of the community plan to begin an effort to try to oust Shemwell from office.

They plan to file paperwork for a recall next week. Mayor George Fuller said he will sign the petition.

More than 2,100 valid signatures are needed to get a recall on the ballot.

If that happens, voters would decide during May elections.

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