Faith

NYC Coughs Up $180K for Hijabless Muslim Women Photographed in Front of Men

Three people booked by police score big payday — they had to remove their hijabs for mugshots

In a settlement filed in a Brooklyn federal court earlier this week, New York City has agreed to pay three women $60,000 each because the police had them remove their hijabs for mug shots, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

The initial case began in 2012. It involved a high school girl who had been involved in a brawl at school over gossip, Fox News reported. The girl, identified only as “G.E.” on her request, was given a female mug-shot photographer and a private area in which to take it when she was booked in the 62nd precinct.

When G.E. was taken to Brooklyn’s Central Booking, however, her hijab-free mug shot was taken in the presence of men. No women staff were available to take it, and the camera was in a fixed location, rendering it impossible to take in a secluded area where she would not be visible to men without having on her head covering.

The woman’s attorney, Tahanie Aboushi, filed two similar cases involving two other women in 2015 and 2016, the Daily Mail reported. In one similar case, the woman had to remove her hijab at Central Booking.

In the second, the hijab a Queens woman was wearing was removed at the scene of her arrest, Fox News reported. In this second case, the woman had first been taken to the hospital and later was photographed without the hijab at Central Booking, according to The New York Times.

In 2012, when the first case occurred, the NYPD had no official guidance with respect to taking mug shots of Muslim women who preferred not to remove their hijabs, The Times reported.

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In 2015 and 2017, interim orders were issued that said arrestees could wear their head coverings for mug shots — or they could have their photograph taken in private in Manhattan at One Police Plaza.

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Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

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