Alabama town disbands police department over racist text

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VINCENT, Ala. – A racist text message from a police officer has prompted officials in a small Alabama town to disband their police department and fire the police chief and assistant chief.

Vincent Mayor James Latimore confirmed on Thursday that Police Chief James Srygley and Assistant Chief John L. Goss have been fired, al.com reports.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Friday condemned the actions of the two officers and said it is supporting the city “in providing emergency aid to (Vincent’s) citizens at this time.”

In the post, which recently appeared on social media, someone identified themselves as “752” texts: “What do you call a pregnant slave?” An unidentified recipient responds twice: “?” and “??”

“752” replies: “BOGO Buy one, get one free”

“This has torn this community apart. It doesn’t matter what color we are, as long as we do good by people,” Councilor Corey Abrams said during Thursday’s council meeting.

On Tuesday, Latimore said “appropriate action has been taken” against the officer who allegedly sent the text, though he would not name the person or anyone else at the time.

The city’s website lists three people in her department: Srygley, Goss, and Officer Lee Carden.

During the council meeting, Latimore announced that he had suspended the chief and assistant chief, and the council voted to terminate the agency. Latimer said Carden submitted his resignation via text message hours after the city council voted to dissolve the ward.

Vincent is located in central Alabama, southeast of Birmingham, and has a population of just under 2,000 people. It is located in Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties.

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