Friday, June 15, 2012

Fishel Litzman, barred from joining NYPD because department feared the beard, files lawsuit 

AN NYPD recruit who claimed he was booted from the Police Academy over his scraggly beard filed suit Thursday to get his job back.

Fishel Litzman, an Orthodox Jew, is also suing for unspecified damages.

A 38-year-old Lubavitch Hasid from Monsey, N.Y., Litzman said in the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court that he was a victim of religious discrimination. He was a month away from receiving his shield when he was notified on June 8 that he was being canned.

Litzman's attorney said his client would forgo damages if he is brought back in."

Nathan Lewin said he made the offer in a letter to Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo.

"This fellow just wants to be a police officer," he wrote.

A spokeswoman for Cardozo said his office had not seen the complaint.

Litzman entered the Police Academy in January and four days later he was ordered to NYPD headquarters to trim his beard. He refused on religious grounds.

The NYPDs chief spokesman said last week that the department made every attempt to accommodate Litzman, permitting beards that do not exceed 1 millimeter in length.


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