Monday, June 11, 2012

NYPD: Please Reconsider Fishel Litzman

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and I released joint statements today regarding the candidacy of NYPD recruit Fishel Litzman, who was dismissed from the force because of his beard, which he maintains in accordance with religious beliefs.

Fishel Litzman
I have always vocally supported the NYPD and the sensational job they do. This is one instance where I think a misinterpreted technicality is getting in the way of doing the right thing. Fishel Litzman joined the police academy with a beard. He continues to wear a beard not as a preference of style but rather out of respect to his religious tenets. Here in New York City, we respect cultural diversity and this is a terrific opportunity to express that respect. Litzman’s beard won’t stop him from performing his duties effectively and efficiently. I call on the NYPD to reconsider Mr. Litzman’s candidacy for the police department.

"The NYPD does a tremendous job protecting our city, but it has done itself a profound disservice by disqualifying Fishel Litzman," said the Public Advocate. "By many accounts, Mr. Litzman is one of the most impressive candidates in his class, and should not be barred from serving on account of his religious observance. We can only maintain the best-qualified police force in the world if we evaluate candidates like Mr. Litzman on their merits. I urge the Department to reconsider his candidacy."

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