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God works in mysterious ways: Woman's hijab fetches her $85000

13 August 2017, 10:20 | Taylor George

Muslim woman wins N31.1m settlement after her hijab was forcefully removed by police

Muslim woman

The city of Long Beach, California, will pay $85,000 to settle a 2016 lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman after an officer forcibly removed her hijab, or headscarf, when she was in police custody.

The original policy stated that police could ban inmates from wearing headscarves altogether.

LOS ANGELES | A muslim woman who had her veil forcibly removed by police officers during his time in custody, will receive $ 85,000 from the city of Long Beach, in the suburbs of Los Angeles, in the framework of an amicable agreement.

Rifahie said her client was not aware that a warrant for her arrest had been sent out for the petty theft charge in 2002, adding that the other two warrants were for Powell's sister, who falsely used her sister's name, according to the federal lawsuit.

According to Rifahie, the settlement with the city also ensured that Long Beach would not publish Powell's mugshot, taken after the hijab had been removed from her head.

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The officers refused her request and ordered Powell to remove her hijab. They didn't return it until she was bailed out of jail the next day.

"The lawsuit states Powell was "forced to appear in a publicly available booking photo without her religious headwear", as a result of the foregoing deprivations of the free exercise of her religion, Kirsty Powell suffered severe discomfort, humiliation, and emotional distress". She had explained she wore it as part of her religious beliefs but they still took it off. The act "protects individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws", according to the Department of Justice.

The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday to approve the settlement.

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. These items include belts, neckties, shoelaces, and head coverings.



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