A small town in Alabama is making national headlines this weekend for dissolving their police department over a racist text sent between an officer and an unidentified party. According to The New York Times, the three member force is under investigation after a screenshot of the text was posted to social media. The Vincent, Alabama City Council suspended both the police chief and the assistant chief at a meeting last Thursday, after which the remaining member of the department also resigned.
The first party in the text thread, identified as “752” asks:
“What do y’all call a pregnant slave?”
An unidentified second party responds, “?” and “??”
“752” then answers:
“BOGO Buy one, get one free”
Vincent, which is about 30 miles southeast of Birmingham is home to 392 Black residents, with a total population of around 2,000. President of the Shelby county NAACP Reverend Kenneth Dukes told The Times that this was just the “tip of the iceberg,” and that there are long standing issues of racism within the community.
“I think now the Council, along with the mayor, see that this is totally unacceptable and that the people have said, ‘No more,’” he said.
Mayor James Latimer stated the officers have been suspended with pay during Thursday’s city council meeting, and that the council has approved a resolution to terminate the police chief and the assistant police chief.
“This has torn this community apart. It doesn’t matter what color we are as long as we do right by people,” City Councilman Corey Abrams said during the meeting.
Reverend Dukes says that he and his organization plan to meet with community members before the next City Council meeting on August 16th.
“I think at this moment we are pleased with the outcome and hopefully everybody will move forward, once it’s confirmed,” he said.
In the meantime, the Shelby County Sheriff Office will monitor the city’s emergency correspondence.