NEWARK, N. J. – The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city calling for state officials to fire a Department of Labor employee is accused of pulling a Muslim woman her headscarf from her head and throws it on the ground.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the unknown Employment Services, employee mocked a woman’s faith in the city’s One-Stop Career Center on Dec. 5 for thieves her headscarf.
Newark police arrested the employee and banned him from the company. They refused to identify the employee but said he faced with harassment charges.
Capt. Derek Glenn said the worker is a 67-year-old Brooklyn man. His name was not released because of retaliation concerns.
He is suspended without pay, said Amanda Pisano, a spokeswoman for the Department of Labor and workforce development. The state agency is pursuing his termination in accordance with department policy.
But that is not enough, Baraka said.
The mayor believes prosecutors should have charged the man with a hate crime and has prompted the Prosecutor of the V. S. Paul Visser to investigate the incident.
“This was an act of hate against the Islamic faith, as an attack on her as a woman,” Baraka said. “In the current climate of violence against Muslims in America and around the world, hate crimes must be recognized for what they are and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also condemned the alleged incident, The Record reported.
“Illegal, bigoted acts cannot be tolerated and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Executive Director James Complains said. “In a society such as ours, the rights of all citizens to keep their faith without fear for their safety and the safety must be vigorously protected.”
Katherine Carter, the public information officer for the Essex County Prosecutor’s office, said they concluded the incident was not criminal under the law of a member state.
This story is corrected to the last name of Newark mayor Baraka, not Baracka.