Vegas cop fights for beard

By Simon Round, August 15, 2008

A Federal judge has ruled that an observant Jewish policeman in Las Vegas can keep his beard. Detective Steve Riback had been informed by the las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department that the facial hair had to go.

Thirty-two-year-old Riback wore a beard and baseball cap while working as an undercover vice-detective but the dispute started when he was transferred to the Office of Quality Assurance, where he is not required to wear a uniform.

Riback bristled with indignation when ordered to shave off his beard and took the Police Department to court.

The judge ruled that the no-beard policy violated his First Amendment right to religious freedom. A jury will decide whether he is able to wear a kippah on duty.

Last updated: 9:32am, August 14 2008