McKinney City Council member La’Shadion Shemwell said in a Facebook Live video Thursday night that he will not resign after he accused a police officer of racial profiling when he was pulled over for speeding earlier this week.
Shemwell said after the traffic stop that he had been pulled over for “being black with dreadlocks.”
“It’s very unfortunate when we have to talk about race. I hate whenever I talk about race that people bring up that I’m using the race card,” Shemwell said in Thursday’s video. “My race and ethnicity is not a card. It’s not something I can turn on and turn off. So although it makes people uncomfortable when I talk about race, it’s something I’m going to do.”
After reviewing body camera footage of the stop — an incident that culminated in his arrest — Shemwell acknowledged Wednesday that he had been “argumentative” and “abrasive” in his behavior with the officer and could have handled it differently. But he said Thursday that he had not “backpedaled” from his initial accusations of having been racially profiled.
Shemwell was pulled over by McKinney police Officer K. Wilkerson early Tuesday evening for allegedly driving 55 mph in a 35-mph stretch of North McDonald Street. The officer also cited Shemwell for having an outdated address on his driver’s license.
After Shemwell repeatedly refused to sign the citations, Wilkerson arrested him, according to a police statement. Shemwell paid a $359 cash bond and was released from the Collin County Jail later that night.
On Wednesday, the Police Department declined to comment beyond providing its account of the incident and releasing the body camera footage.
“I’m not anti-police. I’m only anti-police brutality,” Shemwell said during the Facebook Live video.
He said there is a distrust between residents in McKinney and its police force, and that this week’s incident offers an opportunity for “deeper dialogue on this issue.”
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Source: Dallas News