A recall election to remove a controversial McKinney councilman may move forward now that supporters believe they have collected enough signatures to force a vote, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell, the only black member of the panel, proposed a proclamation earlier this year calling for a “Black State of Emergency” in North Texas following a number of police shootings of black people. Shemwell urged minorities not to travel to Texas after Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death by police in Fort Worth.
The recall petition was started after Shemwell’s proposal and has the support of McKinney Mayor George Fuller. Organizer Jolie Williams told the newspaper on Friday that workers have collected more than 3,000 signatures for the recall election. By law, the petition would need at least 2,100 signatures.
“We’ve done our work,” Williams said. “We’re confident in our numbers.”
Petitioners argue the recall is not racially motivated, pointing to other incidents that have occurred during Shemwell’s two years on the council. These include allegations he assaulted a woman (an incident for which a grand jury declined to indict him) and his self-censure after admitting he was argumentative with a police officer during a traffic stop in which he claimed racial profiling.
“It’s been an ongoing issue with Mr. Shemwell’s behavior and disregard for law enforcement, the charter, and ethics policy, in which he voted in favor,” Williams told the Morning News.
Shemwell did not respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.
Organizers hope the McKinney city secretary will validate the signatures in time so the issue can be discussed at the Jan. 7 city council meeting. They hope the council will approve a resolution so a recall election can be scheduled for May, the Morning News reported.