Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Muslim Woman Sues Long Beach Police Over Forced Removal of Hijab

A suit was filed last week in federal district court in California against the city of Long Beach and its police by a Muslim woman who says that her hijab (headscarf) was forcefully removed while she was being booked by police and held overnight in jail on outstanding warrant charges.  The complaint (full text) in Powell v. City of Long Beach, (ED CA, filed 4/29/2016), alleges that police policy violates RLUIPA, the 1st Amendment and the California constitution.  It seeks damages and an injunction requiring a change in policy so that the police department accommodates religious head wear of those being booked into police custody.  The suit also seeks to enjoin the public release of plaintiff's booking photo which shows her with her head uncovered. LA List reports on the lawsuit.