Muslim Woman Awarded $85000 After Police Removed Her Hijab

Muslim woman

Muslim woman

The police department has a duty to protect all people who are in their custodial care, and one of the policies that protects inmates is that certain items are not allowed to be retained by a prisoner while in custody.

According to the federal lawsuit, male police officers forcibly removed Long Beach resident Kirsty Powell's head covering when they took her into custody in 2015 even after she explained she wore it as part of her religious beliefs.

When officers checked Powell's identification, they discovered she had three outstanding warrants for misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, petty theft, and vehicle theft.

Powell was the passenger, but was arrested after police found a warrant under her name for a shoplifting incident.

Rifahie said her client had no recollection of a warrant being sent out for a petty theft offense in 2002.

After Powell's suit was filed, a police spokesperson confirmed that "during the booking process Powell's hijab was removed and placed into her property bag where it was secured".

According to Arab News, a police officer in Long Beach forcefully removed Powell's hijab in front of other male officers and inmates.

Powell, who wears the head covering "as part of her religious beliefs", was "forced to spend the entire night exposed in custody and described the experience as deeply traumatising", the rights group said.

A Muslim woman in the USA, who was forced to remove her hijab when she was in the police custody has been awarded $85,000 as settlement by the authorities.

About six months after Powell filed her lawsuit in May 2016, the Long Beach Police Department changed its policy.

Long Beach voted Tuesday to approve the settlement, CAIR said, adding that nearby communities have already adopted policies protecting religious headwear in detention following similar lawsuits. The religious head covering would then be returned to the inmate.