Friday, August 31, 2007

Las Vegas Policemean Sues For Right To Wear Yarmulke and Beard

Represented by the ACLU of Nevada, an Orthodox Jewish detective on the Las Vegas police force has sued in federal court for the right to wear a yarmulke (skullcap) and a close-cropped beard while on duty. Yestereday's Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that as Detective Steve Riback became more religiously observant, the Metropolitan Police Department seemed to change its rules. Riback began on the force as an undercover agent where he wore a beard and a baseball cap as part of his disguise. When he moved to his present non-uniformed desk job, the Metropolitan Police Department had a policy against beards, but would grant medical waivers. It did not have a policy against wearing head coverings, but in May it changed its civilian clothing policy to prohibit wearing of hats indoors. When Riback pointed out that officers were permitted to wear International Fellowship of Christian Police Officers pins that featured an open Bible,the Department banned wearing of the pins rather than expand permissible religious attire. The suit claims religious discrimination and retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint.