US Muslim Wins Payout After Hijab 'Forcibly Removed' by Police

Muslim woman

Muslim woman

"She felt that the male officers and male inmates had seen parts of her body that they should not have seen, according to her religious beliefs".

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 California city has agreed to pay $85,000 (72,000 euros) to settle a lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman whose hijab was forcibly removed by the police.

"As a result of the foregoing deprivations of the free exercise of her religion, Powell suffered severe discomfort, humiliation, and emotional distress", the lawsuit stated. The other two warrants were apparently not for Powell but for her sister, who falsely utilized her name, the federal lawsuit stated.

In late 2016, following Powell's lawsuit, the LBPD changed their policy to allow religiously observant arrestees to retain their head coverings, as long as authorities don't believe those garments pose a safety risk for the person.

"We commend Kirsty Powell for choosing to defend her right to religious freedom and taking action", said civil rights attorney Marwa Rifahie of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Powell's husband requested a female officer handle the arrest, according to the suit, but the arresting officers denied the request and told Powell she had to remove her hijab, CNN reported.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced the settlement and praised Powell.

Following the suit, the department changed its policies.

"I do not wish anyone to go through what I felt during this episode", she had stated in her complaint filed previous year in Los Angeles. Powell refused and told them: "that she wears a hijab in accordance with her religious practice and that it is her legal right to wear it", according to the lawsuit.

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