An Alabama town disbanded its whole police department after the screenshot of police officers joking about slavery went viral. Now, the city will take the services of the police department of a neighboring county.
Police Department Dissolved Over Slavery Jokes
In the controversial text conversation, one unidentified police officer named “752” asked others what they would call a “pregnant slave.” When another police officer responded with “?” and “??,” 752 replied, “BOGO,” meaning “Buy one, get one free.”
752 was later identified as the assistant chief of the police department, John Goss.
AL town votes to disband police depart after officers racist texts surface online. Vincent City Council voted to dissolve its police depart,Thurs.The decision came after racist text messages between officers circulated on social media. 1 text What do y'all call a pregnant slave! pic.twitter.com/kelBcAqtVu
— Michele🌻🇺🇦 🕊🆘SaveUkraine🇺🇦🆘🌻 (@RadarResist) August 7, 2022
Kenneth Dukes, the Shelby County President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) claimed one officer shared the screenshot of the racist conversation, which leaked the intradepartmental communication.
Dukes believed the racist texts were not surprising for him at all, claiming the same police officers remained involved in racism in the past as well.
However, the city took decisive action on this incident just because the officials came under massive public scrutiny this time.
Once the screenshot went viral, the city council met and voted to disband the whole department. Locals also attended the Vincent city council meeting to denounce the controversial behavior of the police officers.
One resident, Sharron Davis, noted police officers are supposed to serve and protect the communities, but people are not trusting the officers after seeing them sending racist texts and laughing at them.
Alabama town moves to dissolve its police department over texted racist joke
The racist comment shared on text did not surprise Vincent residents, said Kenneth Dukes pres of the NAACP Shelby County branch who credited public pressure for the council actionhttps://t.co/51qiEnGGrG
— tristkiss 🇺🇦🇺🇸Democracy Is On The Line (@tristkiss) August 5, 2022
Vincent Punished the Whole Department on Texts of a Single Officer
When Vincent Mayor James Latimer confirmed the suspension of the police chief and the Assistant Chief, another officer announced his resignation via a text message.
Latimer acknowledged suspending the whole police department was not an easy decision, noting he thought for a long time before dissolving the department.
Furthermore, Latimer asserted he always wanted to have the best police department in his city, but it is no longer possible to get the services of the same officers who are involved in a racist conversation.
According to Latimer, the whole community is stressed right now as this is a “heartbreaking” event.
After the disbanding of Vincent’s police department, Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego condemned the actions of the police officers who were involved in the racist conversation.
He said his department would provide all the necessary law enforcement services to the residents of Vincent during this testing time.
Likewise, Corey Adams, the city councilman, asserted the racist texts of police officers have “torn the community apart,” adding our skin color does not matter as long as we do the right things for the people.
The city of Vincent has a population of almost 2,000 people, according to the 2020 census. Previously, the city’s website mentioned the information of its police officers, but the page went blank after their sacking.
This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.