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McKinney Council Meets, Possible Censure of Councilman on Agenda

Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell accused McKinney Police of racial profiling during a traffic stop

A McKinney City Council member who accused police of racism last week may face censure by fellow council members.

Monday night, council members met in closed session during a planned work session. Monday’s agenda states, “Discuss Remedies for Council Member Misconduct Under the Home Rule Charter, Including Censure.”

Last week, La’Shadion Shemwell accused McKinney Police of racial profiling during a traffic stop last Tuesday evening.

According to McKinney Police, an officer pulled Councilman Shemwell over for driving 55 mph in a 35 mph speed 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 said he was profiled and his role in Black Lives Matter protests factored into his arrest. Late Wednesday, after reviewing body camera footage of the stop and arrest, he said he wished he were less argumentative.

“I do feel like I played more of a role in being combative about my ticket than I initially thought,” Shemwell said. He said he was open to meeting the officer who pulled him over to acknowledge his role in the arrest and to discuss police procedures in dealing with low level traffic offenses.

By Thursday, Shemwell released a new statement in a Facebook Live video, in which he called for more dialogue on the issue of race and policing in McKinney, saying he does believe the stop was motivated by racism.

"I was pulled over, I was frustrated. I felt I was targeted because I knew for sure that I was not speeding. There is no video that can be released that can show me speeding," Shemwell said.

Shemwell retained attorney Kim Cole.

Monday night during a work session of the McKinney City Council, members met in closed session for more than an hour to discuss possible censure of Councilman Shemwell. After returning to open session, Mayor George Fuller told the people gathered in the room that the council would not comment on the issue until Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled city council meeting.

Fuller said he knew there were members of the public who wanted to speak during the Tuesday public comment section of the meeting and council members would refrain from commenting until then.

Councilman Shemwell was present for Monday night’s work session. After the session, he told NBC 5, “I would have handled myself differently,” in reference to the traffic stop last week.

During the brief interaction with reporters, he said his attorney was representing him on other matters. When asked if he planned to sue the city, Shemwell chuckled and put his arm around Mayor Fuller who was standing next to him.

Mayor Fuller said he expected other council members will weigh in on the issue Tuesday night, after they heard public comment in open session. There is no vote expected on Tuesday. The issue is not on the agenda.

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