Friday, September 18, 2015

Muslim woman sues NYPD for allegedly forcing her to take hijab off for mug shot

Mervat  Soliman, a 53 year old Muslim woman who wears a hijab, is accusing the NYPD of discrimination by forcing her to remove it before taking her mug shot.
Soliman, who is Egyptian, was arrested by cops last January after getting into a dispute with a neighbour over a parking space outside her home in Glendale.

The suit, filed Monday in Brooklyn Federal Court, asserts that the NYPD “discretionally decides” whether a Muslim woman must take off the scarf for an official arrest photo, and that is a violation of Soliman’s Constitutional right to freedom of religion.
Soliman told the Daily News the experience was harrowing. “I feel like somebody took all my clothes off,” she said.
Soliman’s suit contends she was punched in the face by the neighbor’s daughter and an unidentified officer removed the scarf when she was placed in the ambulance. She was taken to Wyckoff Hospital where the cop refused to return the scarf, but a nurse provided her with a pillow case to put on her head.
The scarf was later returned to Soliman when she was transferred to central booking, but she was ordered to remove it again for the mug shot photo.
“Mervat informed the officers of her religious obligation to which they responded, ‘This is America, we don’t care,’” according to the suit.
Soliman's request to be photographed by a female officer in a private room was also refused, the suit states.
"The suit will be reviewed," said a spokesman for the city Law Department.

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