McKinney City Council meeting sparks controversy over racial concerns

A heated discussion about recent racial concerns took place during a Nov. 5 McKinney City Council meeting. (Emily Davis/Community Impact Newspaper)
A heated discussion about recent racial concerns took place during a Nov. 5 McKinney City Council meeting. (Emily Davis/Community Impact Newspaper)

A heated discussion about recent racial concerns took place during a Nov. 5 McKinney City Council meeting. (Emily Davis/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tuesday's McKinney City Council meeting turned contentious as nearly 60 people spoke out about recent racial issues, taking up nearly four hours during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The council's chamber was packed. Every seat was filled, and many audience members had to stand in the hallway while they waited for their turn to speak.

Comments ranged from concerns about racial profiling to police brutality to civil rights. Some speakers also referred to council member La'Shadion Shemwell's recent request for a "black state of emergency," which did not receive approval from the mayor at an Oct. 15 council meeting.

"Who do I tell my children to call when 911 is killing my people?" Shemwell said during that meeting.

Other speakers asked that the McKinney City Council, residents and police department come together and learn how they can best solve these issues.


No formal action was taken at the Nov. 5 meeting, where the discussion referenced not only what was happening in the city but also in the North Texas region and across the country.

In closing comments, McKinney Mayor George Fuller referenced the possibility of a petition seeking to trigger a recall election for Shemwell, who holds the District 1 seat. Fuller said he would sign a petition for Shemwell's recall when and if it surfaces.

“False narratives are coming from a member of council," Fuller told Community Impact Newspaper prior to the council meeting. "Much of this division and divisiveness and rhetoric is coming from a council member, and unfortunately when it is coming from a council member, it’s coming from the body of council. ... I believe it is incumbent upon us and certainly incumbent upon me as mayor to identify that behavior as harmful to our community and do everything in my power to rectify it.”

Shemwell said after the meeting that he is ready to defend his position on council.

"If they want my seat, they better come and take it," he said.d
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