NAACP speaks out against recruit's firing, seeks investigation into city police

New London – The state and local NAACP branches are speaking out against the firing of a black city fire department recruit and calling for an investigation into allegations of racial discrimination by the city's police force.

A press conference has been scheduled today in protest of the firing of Alfred Mayo, a recruit in the 2011 class of the New London Fire Department.

The Connecticut NAACP State Conference, New London Branch of the NAACP, New Haven Firebird Society and Phoenix Society of Hartford have scheduled the 5 p.m. event at city hall in opposition of the hiring practices of the fire department, which has not hired a black firefighter since 1978.

Mayor Daryl J. Finizio said Mayo was fired because of low test scores and disciplinary issues. Finizio said he consulted with city officials before upholding the decision by Fire Chief Ronald Samul.

A news release announcing the press conference says Mayo's "dismissal brings into question the questionable outreach, recruitment and hiring practices of the City of New London Fire Department regarding the hiring and retention of minorities and people of color."

The state and local branches of the NAACP are also calling for an investigation into allegations of racial discrimination and corruption in the city's police department.

Earlier this month, New London resident Lance Goode filed a complaint with the state chapter alleging his civil rights were violated by Officer Roger Newton. Goode provided a video to The Day that he said showed the officer planting drugs at the scene of his arrest.

Connecticut NAACP State Conference President Scot Esdaile said he has asked that Goode's case be reviewed by the U.S. Justice Department. A copy of the video in the case has been forwarded to the NAACP's national office.

Goode and Mayo will be joined at the press conference by members of the state and local branches of the NAACP.

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