Town's leaders defend firing of first black police chief

AP News
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Posted: Aug 04, 2015 5:35 AM

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. (AP) — Leaders of a small, predominantly black town on Maryland's Eastern Shore are defending their decision to fire the town's first black police chief and call for healing racial tensions that have divided the community.

Pocomoke City Mayor Bruce Morrison told members of a citizens group Monday night that he's willing to work with them, but former police Chief Kelvin Sewell won't likely be reinstated.

Sewell says he was dismissed for refusing city officials' demands that he fire two fellow black officers who filed complaints saying they had been treated unfairly.

City officials deny Sewell's claim but say their ability to address the issue publicly is limited because of pending litigation and personnel rules.