California to pay $85000 to Muslim woman over forcibly removing hijab

Muslim woman wins $85,000 lawsuit after hijab forcibly removed

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. The incident happened past year when Kirsty Powell and her husband were pulled over by police for driving a "low rider" vehicle, according to the lawsuit. It was returned when her husband posted her bond.

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.

Long Beach has agreed to pay $85,000 (Over 27million Naira) to settle a lawsuit that accused its police officers of stripping a Muslim woman of her hijab during an arrest and making her spend a night in jail without it. 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. While she was in custody, a police officer forcefully removed her hijab.

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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.

Under the act, "individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions" are protected "from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws", according to the Department of Justice. Under the new policy, female officers can remove a female inmate's religious head covering "when necessary" for the officer's safety, Long Beach assistant city attorney Monte Machit said.

After the suit was filed, the Long Beach Police Department amended its policy to accommodate religious head coverings for persons in custody. These items include belts, neckties, shoelaces, and head coverings.