Hair, Locs

Rastafarian Cop Sues South Fulton Police Department For Allegedly Violating CROWN Act

Myrie relocated from New York after receiving a job offer from the South Fulton County Police Department.

Milton Myrie filed a lawsuit against the City of South Fulton Police Department when he was allegedly forced to cut his dreadlocks to keep the job he had acquired. 

Myrie is a practitioner of the Rastafarian religion, where devotees grow dreadlocks as an outward symbol of their faith. 

According to the lawsuit, the aspiring officer was about to sign his contract when former Deputy Chief Connie Rogers, who also had locs, informed him that he would have to cut his hair. The 36-year-old man said he requested religious accommodations several times but was denied. 

Myrie attempted to comply with the policy and shaved his head several times. According to the Georgia-based lawsuit, the repeated shaving led to a chronic skin condition, which makes it difficult for him to grow his hair back.  

“They’re important to him as part of his Rastafarian religion, his family, all of them have locks. And because of this situation, he is the only one in this family who doesn’t have locks at this point.” Myrie’s attorney, Arnold Lizana, told 11 Alive News.

Lizana continued, “He understands that this fight is bigger than him, and he hopes that there will be some significant change as a result of it.”

Court documents claim that Myrie experienced “humiliating gender-based double standards,” pointing out that female officers were allowed to wear the same hairstyle without receiving any push-back from the department.

The lawsuit states that the City of South Fulton violated the CROWN Act, which makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees over their natural hair.

“CROWN stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The City of South Fulton CROWN Act states residents with natural hair do not experience workplace discrimination for religious, cultural or racial reasons.”

The lawsuit also states that the City of South Fulton violated the Civil Rights Act by failing to accommodate a religious hairstyle.