Alabama city disbands police force after racist text messages revealed

·1 min read
<span>Photograph: Lumigraphics/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Lumigraphics/Getty Images

The small city of Vincent in Alabama has voted to disband its police force after the revelation of racist text messages exchanged between two of its officers.

In the exchange, which recently surfaced on social media, one user named “752” asked: “What do y’all call a pregnant slave?” To this, one person who is not identifiable through the text, responded with question marks.

The user named 752 then responded: “BOGO Buy one, get one free.”

The messages were first reported by AL.com on Tuesday, the same day the Vincent city council met to decide on the issue.

Earlier on Tuesday, the police chief, James Srygley, had said the department had “conducted an internal investigation” and that they had taken “appropriate disciplinary action”.

But on Thursday, Srygley himself was identified as one of the officers who was terminated. Assistant chief John L Goss was also terminated, and the city council then voted to disband the whole department.

On Friday, the sheriff’s office of Shelby county said in a statement they “condemn these actions” and their office was helping the citizens with emergency law enforcement service.

The population of the town, south-east of Birmingham, is about 2,000 as of 2021, with fewer than 500 African Americans, and only eight Hispanic people.