NEW YORK – Following a lawsuit alleging New York police violation of Muslim rights, the city has reached a settlement with its Police Department (NYPD), allowing Muslim cops to grow longer beards.
“We are pleased with the resolution of this case,” expressed a city Law Department spokesman, New York Daily Post reported Friday.
“The agreed upon reforms balance the operational needs of the police department with the religious beliefs and needs of officers.”
The settlement, reached on January 2 at Manhattan Federal Court, emerged in June 2016 when Masood Syed, a Muslim cop filed a lawsuit against the NYPD claiming it unjustly suspended him for wearing a beard more than one-millimeter long.
According to Syed, that length was the unofficial exception for religious reasons to the NYPD’s “no beard” rule.
Shortly after his filed suit, NYPD reinstated him and it launched an internal review of its policy on facial hair.
Syed, 33, might receive money in a separate agreement at a later date. The city has agreed to pay Syed’s fees and costs in relation to the case, court documents indicate.
In December 2016, the NYPD launched a new facial hair policy allowing facial hair of up to one-half inch for religious beliefs, the Daily News previously reported.