Muslim woman awarded £65,000 after police pulled off her hijab

Muslim woman awarded £65,000 after police pulled off her hijab

Police forcibly removed Kirsty Powell's hijab (Stock image)

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Muslim woman has been awarded $85,000 (£65,600) for having her hijab forcibly removed by a police officer in Long Beach, California.

Kirsty Powell filed a lawsuit over the matter last year and the settlement was approved this week and is to be paid by the local municipal authority.

Long Beach Police Department has also taken the decision to remove its policy of not allowing inmates to wear religious head coverings, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Powell's attorney, Marwa Rifahie, said she was stopped by police officers with her husband in 2015 as he was driving a lowrider vehicle.

Police said that when they looked at the African-American Muslim's name in their system, they found she had three warrants for vehicle theft, petty theft and resisting arrest.

Her attorney claimed Powell didn't know a petty theft warrant had been issued and the other two were a result of her sister using her name.

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 woman wouldn’t remove her hijab as she claimed she had a legal right to wear it but officers removed it anyway in front of several others.

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

Powell then spoke to Muslim civil rights organisation CAIR about the issue and filed the lawsuit, claiming her first Amendment rights were violated.