The City Council of Vincent, Alabama, recently voted to disband the town's entire police department, responding to an officer's racist text message. The council also specifically fired the police chief and assistant chief. This happened only days after the screenshot went viral on social media and people demanded action be taken in Vincent.
The message, sent by a person identified as "752" in the screenshot starts by asking: "What do y'all call a pregnant slave?" and then goes on to answer the question with "BOGO Buy one, get one free."
The City Council's resolution included firing Police Chief James Srygley and Assistant Chief John Goss after an initial suspension by Vincent Mayor James Lattimore. Lee Carden was also recently listed as a member of the Vincent police force, but the website has been cleared of all names over this past weekend.
Alabama Police Chief, Assistant Chief On Leave Amid Racist Message Allegationsyoutu.be
Reactions from within the city council were emotional. This episode "has torn this community apart," says Councilmember Corey Abrams.
People on Twitter commented on the lack of trust incidents like this can create.
Other reactions generally fall into two camps. The first is shock (and joy) that the city council of such a small town in Alabama took such decisive action in the wake of this incident.
The other reaction dovetails with part of the statement above: "Raising the bar and setting an example!" People are saying that the actions of the City Council are to be commended and used as a model.
Discussing the city council's decision, Councilmember Abrams remarked, "It doesn't matter what color we are as long as we [do] right by people."
A response on Twitter places a final punctuation on the episode, commending the City Council's decision because if you don't, "it will surely happen again."