Officials in a small Alabama town fired their police chief and dissolved their entire police department over a racist text sent by a police officer.
Vincent Mayor James Latimore confirmed on Thursday that Police Chief James Srygley and Assistant Chief John L. Goss had been dismissed and that the Vincent City Council voted unanimously to begin the process of dissolving the department.
“I have thought long and hard about this. It’s not a decision that I have come to very easily,” Latimore said at the council meeting, according to NBC News. “As all of you know, I’ve always wanted us to have the best police department possible. I think in light of recent events, it’s no longer possible, at least in this moment, for us to continue services of the police department.”
In the message, which surfaced on social media last week, someone identified as “752″ texts: “What do y’all call a pregnant slave?”
An unidentified recipient responds twice. “?” and “??”
“752″ answers: “BOGO Buy one, get one free”
On Tuesday, Srygley said “appropriate action has been taken” against the officer who sent the text, though he would not identify the officer involved, al.com reports. There are only three people listed in the police department on the town’s website: Srygley, Goss and Officer Lee Carden.
Carden turned in his resignation after the council voted to disband the department.
Vincent is a small town located about 35 miles east of Birmingham with a population of approximately 2,000 people. It is located in Shelby, St. Clair, and Talladega counties.
On Friday, Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said he supported the council’s decision to dissolve the department.
“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 sheriff’s department said in a statement Friday. “Sheriff John Samaniego stands with the City of Vincent in providing emergency law enforcement related services for the citizens during this time.”