Council members in a small Alabama city have moved to terminate two officials with its local police department, as well as to disband the department itself, after an officer shared a racist text message.
Per the Associated Press, Vincent Mayor James Latimore said last week that Vincent Police Department Chief James Srygley and Assistant Chief John L. Goss had been dismissed in connection with the message, which saw an officer identified only as “752” making a racist comment about slavery.
“What do y’all call a pregnant slave?” the message is reported to have read, per regional outlet AL.com. One individual then responded with question marks before the officer—who was not initially identified in reports—responded by saying, “BOGO Buy one, get one free.”
In an AL.com-cited statement, Mayor Latimore confirmed city council last week passed “a resolution with intent to pass an ordinance to disband the police department.” Although the section has since been altered to remove the names, the official City of Vincent is reported to have at one point listed just three people as being on the town’s police force. In addition to the aforementioned Srygley and Goss, an individual by the name of Lee Carden was listed.
Meanwhile, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office shared a statement revealing it had since been notified of the racist message and ensuing department disbandment, noting that it would now be “handling all law enforcement emergency calls for service” within the Vincent area.
“The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was recently notified by the Vincent City Council and Mayor regarding the recent allegations of misconduct within the Vincent Police Department and we equally condemn these actions,” the statement, dated Aug. 5, read.