Alabama City Council Terminates Entire Police Force After Racist Texts Among Officers Discovered
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“It tore this community apart. It doesn’t matter what color we are as long as we respect the people,” the councilman said. Corey Abrams said at the board meeting.
When the racist text exchange was first discovered, Chief Constable James Srygley claimed that “appropriate disciplinary action” had been taken, AL.com reported.
But about two days later, Latimer announced that Srygley and his deputy leader, John L. Goss, were both suspended. Hours later, after the city council voted to disband the entire department, Officer Lee Carden tendered his resignation via text message, NPR reports.
Latimer confirmed to NPR that the decision to disband the force was temporary, adding, “It gives us time to breathe and time to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
Located in central Alabama, Vincent is about 30 miles southeast of Birmingham, has a population of 1,980 and the racial divide is 85.79% white and 12.27% black.
The Reverend Kenneth Dukes, president of the Shelby County branch of the NAACP, told NPR he was inspired by the mutual cooperation around the toxic texts.
“I’ve been a civil rights activist for a long time, and I’ve never known the power and magnitude of people coming together like this,” Dukes said.
“The black community isn’t just going to go back to the corner,” Dukes said. “They are tired of being looked down upon, so they will continue to come together to speak out. I believe the whole city of Vincent will improve and improve when every citizen comes together to speak out against racism, disrespect and inequalities.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying he “condemns the actions” of the officers and “is currently handling all law enforcement emergency calls” to Vincent.
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