Muslim woman paid 27million after police officer forcefully removed her hijab

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

The incident started when Kirsty Powell and her husband were pulled over by police for driving a "low rider" vehicle, according to the lawsuit.

The city of Long Beach, California, will pay $85,000 to settle a 2016 lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman after an officer forcibly removed her hijab, or headscarf, when she was in police custody.

Powell was unaware of the petty theft warrant that dated back to 2002 and according to the lawsuit, the other two warrants stemmed from Powell's sister falsely using her name.

Ms Powell's repeated requests to be dealt with by a female officer were ignored, and she spent the night in custody without her headscarf.

According to a report by Instablog, male police officers forcibly removed Kirsty Powell's head covering.

She had explained she wore it as part of her religious beliefs but they still took it off.

About six months after Powell filed her lawsuit in May 2016, the Long Beach Police Department changed its policy.

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"Adding", As a result of the foregoing deprivations of the free exercise of her religion, Kirsty Powell suffered severe discomfort, humiliation, and emotional distress".

The Anaheim-based Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) had filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Powell, an African-American Muslim woman who wears a hijab due to her religious beliefs.

The police then went to arrest Powell and her husband requested it was done by a woman, however this was refused, the lawsuit said.

The CAIR announced that Powell won the settlement on Thursday, August 10.

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

Long Beach voted Tuesday to approve the settlement agreement, which includes $ 85,000 in damages, says Cair, noting that the city and other localities of the counties of Orange and San Bernardino, in the outskirts of Los Angeles, have amended their regulations to protect the right of the islamic headscarf in custody.

She was held for 24 hours and upon release her hijab was returned, but the ordeal is said to have left her feeling humiliated.

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