McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An effort to recall embattled McKinney City Council Member La’Shadion Shemwell overshadowed city business at a town hall meeting Monday night.
Shemwell began the meeting with a 45-minute speech detailing his life story and addressing various controversies involving him, including two arrests and his announcement of a “black state of emergency.”
“I have been demeaned, belittled, bullied,” said Shemwell, accusing his critics of trying to have him removed since he took office in 2017.
He is the city’s second black city council member and has suggested repeatedly the recall effort is racially motivated.
Organizers behind the recall petition strongly deny that.
“It’s tough for me because I believe in his larger cause,” said Al Perry.
Perry who says he campaigned to put Shemwell in office is now one of the leading organizers trying to get him out.
The turning point, he says, came when Shemwell declared a travel advisory, urging people not to come to Texas, and accusing local governments of “conspiring to kill, injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate” people of color.
During a question and answer portion of Monday’s meeting, Perry sparred with Shemwell over his statements and actions in office.
As Shemwell tried to end the back and forth, Perry continued to ask questions.
“Excuse me, sir. I will have you removed. Because I am talking. Excuse me, sir, I will have you removed,” said Shemwell, gesturing toward two McKinney officers at the meeting.
As the officers approached, Mayor George Fuller, who was attending the meeting stepped forward, commenting the meeting was a public one.
Officers refrained from taking action, later explaining they don’t take orders from the council member or the mayor.
Shemwell told the crowd he will continue to fight for a better McKinney “for as long as I can.”
Petition organizers say in less than a month they have collected about two thousand signatures. They have until January 4th to present just over 2100 signatures from registered voters to the city to prompt the recall election next year.