The city council of the town of Vincent, Alabama, unanimously voted on Thursday to terminate the police chief and dissolve the entirety of the police force after a racist joke was shared amongst officers through text.
WVTM 13 reports that Assistant Police Chief John Goss allegedly was the one to send the racist text that quickly circulated to his officers. Due to the town’s police closure, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is taking over all calls for the Vincent Police Department.
The racist text in question recently surfaced on social media, reports AP.
A contact speculated to be Goss, identified as “752″ texts: “What do y’all call a pregnant slave?”
An unknown number responds: “?” and then “??”
“752″ then answers, “BOGO Buy one, get one free.”
News of the text caused outrage among residents, prompting the city council meeting where the townspeople expressed their disgust.
“These are people that are supposed to protect and serve, and to know they are sending these racist texts or making racist comments and things like that, it makes you not have any trust in them,” said resident Sharron Davis.
The Vincent City Council heard the complaints and that same night unanimously voted for the department’s closure.
“I have thought long and hard about this. It’s not a decision that I have come to very easily,” said Mayor James Latimer during the meeting, ahead of the vote.
“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.”
Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said he agreed with the decision. He, along with the sheriff’s office denounced the Vincent PD, eager to provide law enforcement services for the town.
“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 department said in a statement Friday.