A McKinney city councilman, arrested after refusing to sign a speeding citation this week, is calling on police to review its procedures. But, after reviewing body camera footage, said he acknowledged the role he played in the arrest.
McKinney Police said an officer pulled Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell over on Tuesday evening for driving 55 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour speed limit zone on North McDonald Street. The officer cited Shemwell for speeding and for failing to change his address on his drivers license within 30 days, as required by state law.
Police said when Shemwell “repeatedly refused” to sign the citation, the officer arrested him to be taken before a magistrate.
Wednesday, Shemwell initially said he felt he was profiled and his role in Black Lives Matter protests factored into his arrest. Late Wednesday, Shemwell said he reviewed the body camera footage and said he realized he was more argumentative than he remembered.
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“I do feel like I played more of a role in being combative about my ticket than I initially thought,” said Shemwell.
He said the police chief told him the officer didn’t have a choice in the arrest after Shemwell refused to sign the citation.
Earlier, Shemwell questioned the need for an arrest for a low level traffic violation.
“If you feel like someone who refuses to sign a citation is probably not going to appear in court or isn’t going to appear in court, then you use your discretion, you take him in and you let the judge handle it,” said Shemwell.
"Me being a sitting city council man here, I wasn’t fleeing the state,” added Shemwell. “He knows where I’m at the first, third and fourth Mondays and Tuesdays of the month.”
Shemwell said at least three other patrol units arrived to assist in the arrest. A clerk at a local business told NBC 5 he saw multiple officers at the scene of the arrest.
Shemwell said it signals a waste of taxpayer resources and the need for the department to review how it handles low-level traffic violations.
“It’s a waste of our time, it’s a waste of our money, the officer is off the street to do real police work,” he said.
McKinney police confirmed the arrest, but declined to comment further.
Late Wednesday afternoon, McKinney Mayor George Fuller said he reviewed the body camera footage of the arrest.
“Police acted respectfully and professionally,” said Fuller. “I believe these officers did what they were supposed to do under current protocol, but I would like the police department to consider different alternatives in these kinds of arrests in the future.”