Entire City Police Department in Alabama Disbanded Over Racist Texts

A small city in Alabama voted to disband its police department after an exchange of racist text messages between law enforcement officers in the latest incident of reckoning between police officers and their treatment of Black people.

Earlier this year, a scandal broke in Vincent City, in Alabama’s Shelby County, after racist text messages from one of the city’s three police officers, in which the sender makes a distasteful joke involving slavery and pregnant women, ended up online.

At the time, Vincent Police Chief James Srygley said that the department had conducted an internal investigation and taken appropriate disciplinary action against the Vincent police officers who sent a text message containing a racist joke.

Though Srygley did not identify the involved officers or the nature of the disciplinary action taken, it emerged later those police officers were placed on administrative leave, but the city had no authority to fire them.

For a law enforcement officer to be terminated, two formal complaints and a verbal warning must be given before a city employee. Latimer explained that during the time he has been mayor, no official complaints against any police department employee have been filed.

Both officers had recently submitted their paperwork for retirement.

Unable to legally fire its officers, the City Council voted unanimously to temporarily abolish its police department though Latimer added that the messages were not the only reason for the disbandment.

Informing that Vincent City plans to reestablish its police force in the future, Latimer said that for the next year, the city will contract dedicated police services with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Previously this month, a civil rights organization asked for a federal investigation of police brutality on behalf of local Black residents in a lawsuit filed against officials in Lexington, Mississippi after a white police chief’s racist remarks led to a backlash in the town with about 80% Black citizens.

Alderman’s former police chief was recorded bragging about having shot and killed 13 people in the line of duty while using the n-word repeatedly.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.