Muslim NYPD officer sues after being suspended without pay for refusing to shave his beard for religious reasons
- New York Police Department Officer Masood Syed was suspended without pay by the agency on Tuesday for refusing to shave
- He sued the agency on Wednesday, saying its no-beard policy is unconstitutional
- NYPD says it bans beard as a safety measure but allows beards for religious reasons up to one millimeter in length
- Syed, a law clerk in the department, has worn a beard of about half-to-one inch (13 to 25 mm) for years for religious reasons
- During an emergency hearing on Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the agency to continue paying Syed his salary and benefits
Officer Masood Syed, who said he has maintained about half-to-one-inch beard (13-25mm) for most of his 10-year career, has sued the department saying its no-beard policy is unconstitutional.
The department says it bans beards as a safety measure so gas masks fit tightly across faces, but allows beards for religious reasons up to one millimeter in length.