A racist text message sent by a police officer has prompted officials in a small Alabama town to disband its police department and fire the police chief and deputy chief. Vincent Mayor James Latimore confirmed Thursday that Police Chief James Srygley and Deputy Chief John L. Goss. had been fired, reported al.com.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Friday condemned the actions of the two officers and said it stands with the city “in providing emergency law enforcement services to the citizens (of Vincent) at this moment”.
In the message, which recently surfaced on social media, someone identifying themselves as “752? texts: “What do you call a pregnant slave?” An unidentified recipient replies twice: “?” and “??””752? answer: “BOGO Buy One Get One Free” “This has broken this community. It doesn’t matter what color we are as long as we do good for people,” said City Councilman Corey Abrams during Thursday’s council meeting.
On Tuesday, Latimore said “appropriate action has been taken” against the officer alleged to have sent the text, though he did not name the person or those involved at the time.
The city’s website lists three people in its department: Srygley, Goss and Officer Lee Carden. During the board meeting, Latimore announced that he had suspended the chief and deputy director, and the board voted to terminate the agency. Latimer said Carden tendered his resignation via text message just hours after the city council voted to disband the department.
Located in central Alabama, southeast of Birmingham, Vincent has a population of just under 2,000. It is located in the counties of Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega.