New York: Two Muslim women have filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department alleging that they were forced to remove religious head coverings after the arrest.
The women and a non-profit group are seeking class-action status with the lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan federal court. However, the city says it’s confident that its policy passes constitutional validity.
Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, who were arrested in unrelated incidents, accused in the lawsuit that they were forced to remove their hijabs by the New York police to take post-arrest photographs.
The lawsuit complained how two Muslim women in separate instances were left in tears as they were forced to remove their hijabs and be photographed in front of men.
The NYPD says people who do not wish to remove religious hijabs in front of others can be taken to a more private location to be photographed.
The lawsuit alleged that in January 2017, after Jamilla Clark’s ex-husband complained that she had violated an order of protection, an NYPD officer took a post-arrest photo of the New Jersey resident, as she wept and begged to put her hijab back on. The lawsuit added that another officer had openly mocked the Muslim faith.
In August 2017, Brooklyn resident Arwa Aziz was arrested after her sister-in-law obtained a protective order against her on what Aziz said in the lawsuit were false pretences. While in custody, Aziz begged officers to allow her to push her hijab back slightly to expose her hairline and ears for the post-arrest photo.