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06-15-08, 11:03 AM #1
Cops: Beard Ban Is Discriminatory
Cops: Beard Ban Is Discriminatory
HOUSTON, Texas, Nov. 28, 2007
(CBS/AP) Four U.S. police officers have filed a lawsuit claiming their police department's beard ban is discriminatory.
The officers say the policy in Houston, Texas, banning beards and goatees is unfair for men with a skin condition that reacts to shaving.
The condition, pseudofolliculitis barbae, primarily affects black men and can cause severe irritation, rashes and ingrown hair.
Houston police said the ban was adopted in 2005 because officers with facial hair cannot properly seal gas masks in the event of bioterrorism attacks.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday says the men were reassigned to plainclothes duty because of their facial hair. Sgts. Shelby Stewart and Kenneth Perkins said they have goatees because of the skin condition.
"When they took us out of uniform and told us we couldn't work second jobs in uniform, that meant that we had to take a financial hit that most officers would not take," said Stewart, a 26-year department veteran.
ďThat actually makes me feel as though a family member just slapped me in the face,Ē said Sgt. Perkins, according to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV.
Craig Ferrell, a lawyer for Houston police, denied any discrimination but said the policy will be changed. Officers who cannot shave would use special gas masks that that can be worn over a beard, he said.
Also, officers who cannot shave due to medical conditions may be assigned to plainclothes duties, but they must submit a written report from a physician every 30 days, reports KHOU.
Officers Adrian White and Raul Collins are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The City of Houston is also named as a defendant.
The lawsuit alleges diminished status and pay because of the policy, but Ferrell said the reassignments were not demotions.
ďI hope the citizens of Houston want an officer out there when we call the police, and I donít care if he has a beard," attorney Jolanda Jones said, according to KHOU. "I really donít. I just want to make sure Iím safe."
In order to accomodate all request for wearing beards while on duty, the Houston Police Department is also testing out new uniforms that will make beards more appealling and and less intrusive on the personal liberties of its police officers.
Beards in Uniform:
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
06-15-08, 11:08 AM #2
Cops fighting beard ban get $150K allowance
The Associated Press
HOUSTON ó The Houston City Council has unanimously authorized spending up to $150,000 to defend the city in a lawsuit challenging its ban on beards in the police department.
"The lawsuit is pending and we have to defend ourselves," Councilman Ron Green said. "But we're basically saying we want new police officers, but we don't want police officers with beards."
Four police officers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in November claiming the policy is discriminatory. The officers say the prohibition on beards and goatees is unfair for men who suffer a skin condition that reacts negatively to shaving. The condition can cause severe irritation, rashes and ingrown hair.
The police department instituted the policy in 1993 so uniformed officers would look conservative and professional, according to a city memo.
Officers said the policy unfairly affects their earning potential.
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I guess they didnt like the new uniforms either. Oh well guys...you gave it the old college try!"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
06-15-08, 11:19 AM #3
Haven't they ever heard of Nair?
Surely they can try different electric razers that cut to different lengths, lotions that soften the stubble, or different types of hair removal cream, and eventually hit upon something that works for them.
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06-15-08, 11:25 AM #4
06-15-08, 11:38 AM #5
If you can't wear the uniform or gas masks get a different job. What is it with this generation full of whining brats?
If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.
I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones
Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman
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06-15-08, 12:41 PM #6
Fuck that. If you want to wear your beard, fine, but you need to be certified with your gas mask with CS or similar six times a year.
See how quickly the shaving starts.There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...
Canada, huh? Almost made it...
*DISCLAIMER*The opinions expressed here are my own delusions. My employer administraton would at best shake their heads and sigh; or at worst severely repudiate the content of these posts, should it ever manage to appear on their radar.
06-15-08, 11:06 PM #7
I hate shaving, my skin gets irritated as hell. Depillatory creams cause chemical burns. I wish we could all have beards/facial hair as long as it is neat/trimmed. Have a lot of black friends in police/military who have to push the envelope by shaving everyother day and hope not to get caught because their thick hair curls back in causing folliculitis. Shit hurts.Do you want me to get naked and start the revolution?
06-15-08, 11:14 PM #8
Even the military offers shaving waivers for folks with that condition.
Shrug, who gives a shit?
It doesn't seem like lawsuit material though.I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
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