Update: Civil Suit against NYPD

March 3, 2003

Source: Newsday


On March 3, 2003 Newsday reported that "a former traffic agent who was fired from the NYPD for refusing to remove his turban or cut his beard, tenets of his Sikh religious beliefs, will file a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday in a move that could ultimately change the traditional appearance of the nation's largest and most storied police force... The Sikh Coalition will file a federal lawsuit on behalf of Amric Singh Rathour, 26, of Ozone Park, in Manhattan's federal court claiming that the NYPD's turban prohibition and strict beard regulations constitute unlawful employment discrimination, according to Prabhjot Singh, spokesman for the nonprofit organization promoting Sikh culture... Rathour's attempts to be granted 'religious accommodation' were denied and on Aug. 27, 2001 he was fired after refusing to remove his beard and turban... 'I feel kind of betrayed,' he said. 'I thought this was my country. I was born and raised here, I never felt I was different than anyone else. But after this, the way the city has treated me, it makes me feel inferior.'"