City Councilman Claims He Was Racially Profiled, Then Bodycam Is Released
McKinney, TX – The McKinney City Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution disapproving of the actions of a black city council member who accused a white police officer of racial profiling over a traffic stop, after the bodycam was released.
City Council Member La'Shadion Shemwell apologized to the city and police after he made the racial profiling claim related to a May 8 traffic stop.
Shemwell was pulled over by Officer K. Wilkerson because Shemwell was allegedly driving 55 mph on a 35-mph stretch. Shemwell was also cited for having an outdated address on his driver’s license.
After Shemwell refused to sign the tickets, Officer Wilkerson arrested him, according to the Dallas Morning News. Shemwell posted bail and was released from jail that night.
Shemwell then accused Wilkerson of pulling him over for "being black with dreadlocks."
In the police officer’s body camera, Shemwell repeatedly refuses to sign the ticket and when asked to step out of his vehicle says twice to the officer, “You better call Chief [Greg] Conley.”
After bodycam showed what happened, Shemwell brought forward a measure to censure himself and voted in favor of it, according to the Dallas Morning News.
"If anybody's going to hold me accountable, I need to hold myself accountable," Shemwell said after the meeting, according to the Dallas Morning News. "I didn't want to put my own council members in a position to pin themselves against me."
"I did not want to have that conversation about racial profiling on a case that involved me. But I'm not going to shy away from having those conversations," Shemwell said.
Mayor George Fuller said the council vote was a difficult but necessary stop for the city.
"We do need to get past it, but you need to get past it from a point of truth," Fuller said in a phone interview before the meeting, according to the Dallas Morning News. "It did happen. We need to deal with it. People have to own it, and then we move forward."
Fuller said the censure only serves as a reprimand and that Shemwell will still serve as a council member and that there would be no further punishment.
The resolution states that elected city officials must demonstrate "respect and integrity." During the traffic stop, Shemwell was "uncooperative and argumentative" toward the police officer, the resolution said Shemwell’s statements and actions "demonstrated a lack of judgment and professionalism."