New York Police Department (NYPD) officers safe Times Square on New Year’s Eve celebrations, Dec. 31, 2017.
New York City will have to pay out $180,000 to three muslim women after forcing them to take off their hijabs for the mugshots.
Three lawsuits were Monday in Brooklyn federal court arising from the NYPD’s policy of shooting people who wear religious head coverings, the New York Daily News reported. The three women went for $ 60,000 each.
Some cases date until 2012, when a high school girl – identified as “G. E.” – was arrested after a brawl with two other girls who thought they spread gossip about her.
G. E. was in the first instance, transferred to a police station and was told to take off her headscarf. G. E. refused and was taken to a secluded room where a female police officer took her photo outside the presence of men, the Daily News reported.
But at Brooklyn Central Booking, the police could not for the girl’s religious needs, told her that there are no female officers available, and that the camera is in a fixed location, making the mugshot could not be taken in a private room.
The girl claimed that a male officer then took her photo without hijab, making her feel exposed, violated and distraught, as she was forced to be without the Islamic clothing for 20 minutes, while the male policemen and prisoners looked at her.
Police have a warrant in March 2015, according to court filings, the change of the policy in respect of people who refuse to take off their religious head coverings. Officers conducting the arrest had to tell the person that the NYPD provides a choice of getting one of your own photos – without the head garb, and with an official of the same sex.
Two other cases were submitted in 2015 and 2016 by G. E.’s lawyer, Tahanie Aboushi, and involved with a similar situation.
A woman claims to have been forced to remove her veil at Brooklyn Central Booking police station and was refused a female photographer. Another prosecutor said that her hijab is removed at the place of her arrest.
Aboushi told the Daily News on Tuesday that the police issued additional policies regarding religious headwear in December 2017.
“We have done our best to set a good precedent,” Aboushi said. “On the one hand, it gives officers guidance, and on the other hand, it protects the exercise of freedom of religion.”
Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.