Sikh Sues NYPD Over Firing
One year after it first came under intense criticism for its decision to fire a Sikh traffic policeman because his religious beliefs require him to wear a turban and leave his beard uncut (see WIT for March 11, 2002), the New York Police Department will finally face a civil rights suit. To be filed in federal court today on behalf of the fired traffic cop, the lawsuit by the Sikh Coalition alleges that the NYPD's continued refusal to follow other elite police forces in accommodating Sikh religious beliefs constitutes illegal employment discrimination. Working for a delivery service since his firing, the traffic policeman is seeking only to regain his job and back pay, and wants "Sikhs to know . . . that we have a place here in the United States where we're welcomed and where we're treated equally."