On Friday morning, the effort to remove a McKinney city council member continued.
A group of organizers turned in a petition to city hall, asking for a recall election for councilman La'Shadion Shemwell of District 1.
The petition contained more than 3,300 signatures from city voters, more than the 2,100 required for the recall to move forward.
The recall came to a head after councilman Shemwell declared a "Black State of Emergency" in Texas during a council meeting in October, following several high-profile officer-involved shootings in North Texas. He called for the council to adopt the proclamation and at the time, had tweeted that coming to the state would endanger black and brown lives.
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During that council meeting, the mayor refused to read the proclamation, calling it "dangerous". Emotions ran high in the following council meeting.
Then in November, an affidavit and petition to recall Shemwell was authorized by the city. The claims are that he violated his oath of office and made incendiary comments about policing and city government.
“I’m not going to shy away from having uncomfortable conversations,” Shemwell said in an interview with NBC 5 earlier this month. “As far as the proclamation being too extreme, what do you expect me to do when I see people that look like me dying daily across this country?”
Last week, Shemwell held a town hall meeting, answering questions about his intentions behind the letter and expressing how this could have played out, instead of resulting in the recall.
“People are not upset with something that I’ve done, but upset that I had something to say that doesn’t align with their opinions,” he said in a previous interview.
Shemwell, who has been on the council for two years, says the effort to remove him from office is racially motivated. That’s an accusation to group denies.
The group cited instances involving Shemwell that they say brought controversy and division to the city since he took the position.
In December 2018, he was arrested and accused of continuous family violence involving a woman he was dating. Earlier that same year, Shemwell had publicly accused a McKinney police officer of racial profiling but then recanted some of his statements.
"Understand that I campaigned for Shemwell and supported this idea of igniting a responsible discussion about race. That was one of the reasons why we supported him. But what got us here today is that he is advancing false discussions in furtherance of this more noble cause," said Al Perry, one of several people who helped put organize the petition.
Councilman Shemwell was not at city hall when the petition was delivered. NBC 5 called him for comment but have not heard back yet.
As far as what is next, city secretary and other staff still have to officially validate the petition signatures.
The next big decisions to be made regarding a recall vote will happen at the next public city council meeting on January 7, 2020. If that happens, voters would decide in the May elections.
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Following the petition delivery, Mayor George Fuller issued the following statement on Friday afternoon: