Muslim NYPD officer sues over no beard policy

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department says it will examine its policy banning beards after a federal class-action lawsuit was filed last week on behalf a Muslim officer who was suspended for violating the rule.

Officer Masood Syed, who was suspended during Ramadan for refusing to shave his inch-long beard, has been reinstated.

City attorney Michael Fleming had said the limit on facial hair is necessary for gas masks to fit tightly on officers' faces.

Syed's lawsuit states the rule is unconstitutional and inconsistently enforced. It seeks unspecified financial damages and a court order banning the NYPD from enforcing the rule.

Police legal officials say a review of the rule should take about 120 days. The NYPD will also examine how it handles disciplinary cases and exemptions involving the rule.