Sikh Man Sues NYC Police Dept

NEW YORK (AP) - A Sikh man has filed a federal discrimination complaint against the New York Police Department, saying he was fired during his training period because he would not shave his beard or remove his turban, signs of his religious faith.

Amric Singh Rathour, 25, had applied to be a traffic enforcement agent with the NYPD last year. He was sworn in as a new officer on June 18, according to the complaint filed Monday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

During his eight-week training period, he and his supervisors clashed over his turban and facial hair, according to the complaint. Sikhism, founded in India more than 500 years ago, requires followers to leave their hair uncut as a sign of faith.

On Aug. 27, Rathour was fired from the NYPD. He says he lost his job because he refused to give up his right to practice his religion.

Officer Guy Braun, a police spokesman, said the department does not comment on pending legal complaints. A call to the EEOC office in New York was not immediately returned.