Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ohio Police Department Will Continue Hijab Ban

The Columbus, Ohio Police Division has decided to continue its ban on officers wearing headscarves, despite publicity earlier this year about a Somali-American Muslim recruit who dropped out of the department's police academy because of the ban on her wearing a hijab.  According to yesterday's Columbus Dispatch, Deputy Police Chief Michael Woods explained the decision:
We want to interact with all members of the community without a preconceived notion of who we are. We strive to be a nonpolitical, nonreligious organization.
The assistant city attorney representing the Police Division says that case law supports the continued headscarf ban, pointing to the 2007 Pennsylvania federal district court decision in Webb v. City of Philadelphia. (See prior posting).