Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Muslim woman wins $85000 lawsuit after police remove her hijab

Muslim woman wins $85000 lawsuit after police remove her hijab

In addition to the $85,000 in damages awarded to Powell, the suit "prompted a city-wide policy change by the Long Beach Police Department to ban the practice of forcible removal of the hijab for female arrestees in custody", CAIR-LA Civil Rights Attorney Marwa Rifahie said in the statement.

Local news website ABC7 reported she had three outstanding warrants against her name, which have since been cleared.

In 2015, Kristy Powell was stopped by police officers along with her husband, who was driving a lowrider vehicle. Powell's husband had requested the police department for a female officer to handle her case, but the request was denied and Powell was ordered to let go of her headscarf.

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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". They didn't return it until she was bailed out of jail the next day.

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.

"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.

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of the woman identified as Kirsty Powell sued the city of Long Beach.

The city of Long Beach, California, will pay Dollars 85,000to to settle the lawsuit filed by Powell.The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced the settlement and praised Powell.Powell had told the Council on American-Islamic Relations when she filed the suit she wanted to be the last Muslim woman who has this experience."I want my Muslim sisters to always feel comfortable and safe wearing a hijab and to stand up for what's right", she said.

"We commend Kirsty Powell for choosing to defend her right to religious freedom and taking action".

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