Friday, August 11, 2017 at 10:44 a.m.
Kirsty Powell said her experience with Long Beach Police was “horrible.”
Courtesy of CAIR-LA
A Muslim woman and the City of Long Beach have settled her civil rights lawsuit that alleged a cop unjustly and forcibly removed her religious headscarf known as a hijab.
The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday to approve the settlement, which includes $85,000 in damages for Kirsty Powell.
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.
During a traffic stop, Powell was arrested on outstanding warrants that have since been cleared, according to CAIR-LA, which alleged Long Beach Police Department officers repeatedly told her she would have to remove her hijab and denied her requests to be searched by a female officer or allowed to continue wearing the headscarf while in custody.
Powell claimed having her hijab removed in view of other male officers and dozens of inmates and being forced to spend the entire night exposed in custody left her deeply traumatized. “I would never want anyone to go through what I felt from this experience,” she reportedly said when the suit was filed. “I want my Muslim sisters to always feel comfortable and safe wearing a hijab and to stand up for what’s right.”
The Long Beach Police Department amended its policy in November to accommodate religious head coverings for persons in custody, according to CAIR-LA, whose legal actions have spurred law…
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