A McKinney city councilman is making headlines again. La'Shadian Shemwell was arrested for continuous family violence, a third degree felony. He was arraigned Thursday morning and bonded out.
Now with news of his arrest, some residents are saying Shemwell has brought too much negativity to city hall. They’re circulating a petition to recall the Councilman, while he's defending himself online.
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Court documents lay out an alleged pattern of abuse, accusing McKinney City Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell of assaulting a woman with whom he had a dating relationship three times over the past year.
The woman says that last week, Shemwell grabbed her car keys out of her hands so roughly that he broke several nails and injured her finger.
The documents also outline two separate occasions, back in June and in February, when the woman says Shemwell hit her in the mouth during arguments, also throwing her into a wall during the February incident, hurting her eye.
Shemwell released a statement on Friday to NBC 5 saying "This is yet another example of why I wholeheartedly advocate for criminal justice reform and bail reform. In a country where one should have the presumption of innocence UNLESS proven guilty, it’s clear that this is merely theoretical and not practical, especially for people of color and impoverished communities alike; dealing with a money hungry and racially biased criminal justice system. As far as people being concerned about my smiling in the mugshot picture, would you rather I cower like a hurt dog? Knowing that these are premeditated unmerited attacks from my adversaries, I prefer to hold my head high through all trials and tribulations. I refuse to be yet another broken body, created in a broken criminal justice system. For no weapon formed against me shall prosper. With every arrow shot in my direction I will smile and smile much bigger. In the words of 45, “This is fake news.” Prayers for my children who are old enough to hear and read the rumors and whispers about their father."
Shemwell also posted on Facebook Wednesday, in part: "There will be some things that are said about me in the next few days. I challenge you to consider the sources."
Councilman Shemwell sparked controversy back in May when he accused a McKinney police officer of racial profiling during a traffic stop. He later backpedaled when body cam video went public and voted to censure himself at city council.
"I should have done better and handled it in my day in court and for that, I take that," Shemwell said at the time.
Now, some residents have started a petition calling for Shemwell to lose his council seat.
In Wednesday’s Facebook post, Shemwell also said: “I’m not going anywhere. If you want my seat, run for it and beat me. Your bully tactics don’t work over here.”
McKinney Mayor George Fuller released the following statement Thursday:
“I am aware of the charges alleged against Councilman Shemwell and I have full confidence in our police department and the legal process that will adjudicate these charges. Mr. Shemwell is entitled to due process and, until such time, I will not comment on the facts or persons involved. However, violence against the family is intolerable and anyone convicted of such a crime should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
NBC 5 reached attorney Kim Cole on Thursday, who represents Shemwell in a separate civil rights matter. She said she is "not yet" his attorney in the family violence case but that she stands with him and believes "he will be completely exonerated."