New London - NAACP officials have invited Jane Glover and Wade Hyslop, two high ranking, black city officials, to a March 22 public meeting to discuss why they chose to fire black firefighter Alfred Mayo in December.
The public meeting is the second NAACP-sponsored forum for residents to discuss concerns about racial discrimination and racial profiling in the city.
The letter inviting Glover and Hyslop says the first town hall meeting, held last month, featured "compelling testimonies of civil rights violations."
"The residents of the City of New London have spoken," says the letter, which is signed by New London National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter President Donald Wilson and state NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile. "The tension, mood and frustration of this community must be a priority for those hired, elected or appointed to serve."
Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said in January that he had asked Glover, his chief administrative officer, and Hyslop, a city councilor and the council's Public Safety liaison, for input before firing Mayo, the first black firefighter hired by the city since 1978. Both, Finizio said, had recommended the termination, which came just days before Mayo was to graduate from the state fire academy.
"The NAACP will continue to strongly assert that Mr. Mayo was falsely accused and wrongfully terminated," the letter reads.
Hyslop said Tuesday evening that he had yet to receive the letter. He said he would "probably be in attendance, but won't make any public comments at the meeting."
Glover could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The letters, addressed to each individually, say that residents "of New London deserve to have you testify at this next town hall meeting relating to your recommendation in the firing of Al Mayo."
The meeting, to be held at the Second Congregational Church at 45 Broad St., will allow residents to air complaints of racial profiling, police misconduct and unfair hiring and promotional practices before a panel of civil rights advocates and public officials.
The forum, originally scheduled for Thursday, will be held 7 to 8:45 p.m. on March 22, according to a release from Wilson.
The first town hall meeting Feb. 21 drew a large crowd, more than 100, and impassioned testimony from those who spoke out against racial profiling and police misconduct.
Among those was Mayo, who teared up as he recounted his time at the state fire academy, during which he claims he was bullied and falsely accused of wrongdoing before being fired by Finizio just days before his class graduation.