Vincent, Ala. — A racist text message sent by a police officer has prompted officials in a small Alabama town to disband their police department and sack the police chief and assistant chief.
Vincent Mayor James Latimore confirmed Thursday that Police Chief James Srigali and Assistant Chief John L. Goss have been fired, al.com informed of.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Friday condemned the actions of the two officers and said it “stands with the city at this time in providing emergency law enforcement related service to citizens (Vincent’s).”
In the message, which recently surfaced on social media, someone identified as “752″ texts: “What do you call a pregnant slave?” An unidentified recipient replies twice: “?” and “? ?”
“752″ Answer: “BOGO BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE”
“It has ripped apart this community. It doesn’t matter what color we are, as long as we do what is right by the people,” City Councilman Corey Abrams said during a council meeting on Thursday.
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 involved at the time.
The city’s website lists three people in its department: Shrigley, Goss, and Officer Lee Cardon.
During the council meeting, Latimore announced that she had suspended the chief and assistant chief, and the council voted to liquidate the agency. Latimer said Cardon tendered his resignation via text message just hours after the city council voted to dissolve the department.
Located in central Alabama, southeast of Birmingham, Vincent has a population of just under 2,000. It is located in Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties.