Muslim NYPD Cop Wins Right Not To Shave Beard

by
Carol Nisar
A Muslim police officer sued the NYPD in a lawsuit that indicated their no-beard policy was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

A bearded New York Police Department law clerk sued the New York Police Department Wednesday for suspending him without pay for not trimming his beard before taking an I.D. photo.

On Tuesday afternoon, the 10-year NYPD veteran and lawyer was asked to shave down his beard to their limit of one millimeter, or 0.4 inches in order to have a new I.D. photo.

The I.D. unit refused to take pictures of men with beards longer than 1 millimeter.

In turn, Masood Syed, 32, filed an emergency class-action lawsuit against the NYPD Wednesday at a U.S. District Court in Manhattan after they suspended his pay and benefits for forgoing their facial hair restriction.

masood syed

The NYPD has a ban on all beards, but Syed has kept his beard between a half inch and one inch for the majority of the ten years he has been working for the department, his lawsuit claims.

Judge Kevin Castel ruled in favor of Syed keeping his beard at the length of his own preference with pay and benefits from the NYPD until July 8, when it will be further investigated if the NYPD no-beard policy is in violation of the First Amendment or not.

A practicing Sunni Muslim, Syed maintains that he keeps his beard for religious reasons and the no-beard rule is an infringement of his constitutional right to freely express his faith.

Read More: Man Claims His Beard Was Too Scary For One Alaska Airlines Passenger

Photo credit: Twitter, @palsociety

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