Several firefighters in New Britain are looking for answers after making claims of racial discrimination that has been going on for years.
The National Association for the Advancement for Colored People is now investigating the situation.
Some firefighters are accusing management of creating a hostile work environment, and they claim it is time for city leaders to get involved.
"I've been a pretty model firefighters in the city where I was born and raised," explained New Britain firefighter Daylon Hudson.
He and some of his colleagues are upset that a picture of former fire chief Mark Carr should be hung on the wall with his predecessors. He was the first African American man to hold the position.
Hudson claimed that after asking management to hang up the picture on the wall honoring past chiefs, he took action and removed all the photos.
"I've been suspended for my actions. I took down pictures in protest. This is not something new. It's a long, dark, documented history with the New Britain Fire Department" said Hudson.
Now he and other firefighters are hoping for a positive change.
"This is not just a racial issue. This is the good old boys network. If you are not part of the network, you get treated unfairly. There are a lot of these guys here. They have had legitimate issues that they have tried to raise with the city. We don't get acknowledged," explained Hudson.
He reached out to the New Britain chapter of the NAACP regarding his grievances. The organization then held a rally Tuesday night.
"We felt that it was imperative and crucial that we let the community know what kind of behavior that was occurring in our city," said Ronald Perry Davis, the president of the NAACP chapter in New Britain.
The city is now launching an investigation into racial bias and other forms of discrimination within the fire department.
In a statement republican mayor Erin Stewart wrote, "During my four years as mayor, this is the first time this type of allegation from within the fire department has been brought to my attention. New Britain is a diverse community that prides itself on the acceptance of all individuals, regardless of their background. After hearing of these concerns, I immediately brought in an independent investigator to review the allegations. Racism has absolutely no place in New Britain, or any other community. I look forward to reviewing the findings of the investigation and will take appropriate action if necessary to ensure that the city of New Britain continues to be a welcoming place to live and work."
Hudson is expected to file a formal complaint on Wednesday.
Mayor Erin Stewart will meet with an outside attorney on Friday.
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