Ban On Beards Lawsuit Dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Houston Police Department's ban on beards.

The department says gas masks can't properly be worn with beards.

But four officers filed a lawsuit saying the policy discriminates against those with a skin condition that primarily affects black men and gets worse with shaving.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal determined the policy violated no state, federal or constitutional rights and dismissed the lawsuit Sept. 3.

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said in a statement Thursday the decision will allow officers to "safely do their jobs."

The policy was established in 1993 so officers would look professional but wasn't regularly enforced until gas masks were issued after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.



WITN addition to AP story:

According to the BBC, "the condition (that gets worse with shaving and primarily impacts black men) is called pseudofolliculitis barbae and sufferers who shave can be subjected to rashes, ingrowing hairs and severe irritation."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by William on Sep 11, 2009 at 12:02 PM
    The race card didn't work this time.
  • by Beard Location: havelock on Sep 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM
    crazy but isnt that also a term for being gay having a beard or is it a purse ?
  • by Hank on Sep 11, 2009 at 09:53 AM
    I applaud the judges decision. If I told my boss I wouldn't shave because I had reasons for not doing so, I wouldn't have a job long. It is for their safety and if something happened, they would then try to file a lawsuit due to not enforcing the policy.
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