Home News NYPD to pay Muslim officer who sued over beard length

NYPD to pay Muslim officer who sued over beard length

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New York Police Department Officer Masood Syed, a practicing Muslim, center, smiles as he leaves Manhattan federal court in New York Wednesday, June 22, 2016, after a judge ordered the city to reinstate his salary and benefits after he sued the city over police rules requiring that anyone exempt from the department's no beard policy for religious or other reasons limit beard length to one millimeter. The NYPD suspended Syed a day earlier without pay.  (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)
New York Police Department Officer Masood Syed, a practicing Muslim, center, smiles as he leaves Manhattan federal court in New York Wednesday, June 22, 2016, after a judge ordered the city to reinstate his salary and benefits after he sued the city over police rules requiring that anyone exempt from the department’s no beard policy for religious or other reasons limit beard length to one millimeter. The NYPD suspended Syed a day earlier without pay. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)

NEW YORK — A federal judge has ordered the New York Police Department to pay salary and benefits to a Muslim officer who has been suspended for violating the department’s beard policy.

Manhattan Judge P. Kevin Castel granted a temporary restraining order Wednesday, a day after Officer Masood Syed was suspended without pay and escorted out of police headquarters.

City attorney Michael Fleming said Syed’s beard surpassed the 1-millimeter length the department allows. Fleming said the limit is necessary for gas masks to fit tightly on officers’ faces.

Syed filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday. He’s seeking unspecified financial damages and a court order banning the NYPD from enforcing its beard policy.

The lawsuit said the court should require the department to adopt a policy that provides reasonable religious accommodations.

© 2016 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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