After a police officer sent a racist text, a town dissolved its police department
Updated August 8, 202212:26 PM E
An Alabama police department was disbanded last week after a racist text message sent by one of its three officers surfaced on social media.
The police chief and the assistant police chief were suspended, city of Vincent Mayor James Latimer confirmed to NPR. Then, the city council voted to dissolve the entire department — a move the mayor is calling "a reversible decision." The remaining officer subsequently resigned, Latimer said.
The city will be relying on the greater Shelby County Sheriff's Office to respond to emergency calls during the span of a year, according to the mayor.
Vincent is about a 45-minute drive from Birmingham. Less than 2,000 residents live there, 85% of whom are white and 12% of whom are Black.
In the text message, a screenshot shows someone identified as "752" writing a racist message about slavery to an unidentified recipient, reported al.com.
Soon after the text message first surfaced, the city's police chief, James Srygley, told al.com that an internal investigation had been conducted and that "appropriate disciplinary action has been taken."