McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An embattled city councilman votes to censure himself, after he was caught on video telling an officer he would be in trouble for pulling him over.
Since the May 8 traffic stop, McKinney City Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell has maintained he believed he was being racially profiled during the traffic stop.
At Wednesday night’s public meeting to vote on the censure, a formal wagging of the finger, Shemwell apologized to the McKinney police officer who pulled him over, saying he doesn’t believe he is a racist, but that institutional racism does exist in policing.
“I make the motion to approve the resolution of censure,” Shemwell said, and was seconded by the mayor.
In police video of the arrest, Shemwell is seen asking for the police chief several times.
“You better get Chief Conley on the phone right now let him know what you’re in, you’re in really big trouble my friend,” Shemwell tells the officer.
Shemwell was eventually arrested for refusing to sign the citation. The officer is seen pleading with city councilman, explaining that he will be forced to arrested him if he didn’t sing the ticket. The signature is only a promise to appear in court, not an admission of guilt.
Shemwell’s arrest has sparked intense public interest, from supporters who feel his arrest is about race, to critics who feel Shemwell tried to use his authority to intimidate the officer.
Shemwell apologized to the city, residents, police and his colleagues, saying he wants the negative emails to stop.
“I felt that anyone was going to hold me accountable, that I should hold myself accountable for my actions,” said Shemwell. Also I didn’t want to put my council members in a position to pin themselves against me by having to reprimand me so I take that out of their hands.”
Some of Shemwell’s supporters called for protests if he was censured. When asked about that, Shemwell said if people feel that they need to protest, then they should protest.