Nov. 10 (UPI) — The New York Police Division has agreed to not pressure ladies to take away hijabs for mug pictures as a part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit.
At subject, was a lawsuit filed two years in the past by two Muslim ladies, Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, who claimed they had been embarrassingly compelled to take away their hijab headscarves for mug pictures after being arrested on low-level fees for violating orders of safety that had been later dismissed.
“Nobody needs to be compelled to undress simply to be fed right into a facial recognition database,” the ladies’s lawyer and founder and government director of the Surveillance Expertise Oversight Challenge Albert Cahn mentioned in a press release. “New Yorkers are in a position to get a drivers’ license or passport whereas carrying the hijab, and there is completely no motive for it to be eliminated by police.”
The New York Police Division agreed in a settlement filed final week to vary its coverage to permit Muslim ladies who put on the headscarves to evolve to Islamic requirements of modesty to maintain the hijab on throughout police pictures as alongside as their faces are unobstructed. The settlement applies to not solely hijabs, but additionally different spiritual head coverings, equivalent to burqa, turban, or wigs worn by Orthodox Jews.
“It was appalling that this was occurring for a few years in New York and that our metropolis was betraying the values of spiritual inclusion,” mentioned the ladies’s lawyer Albert Fox Cahn. “However now we can’t see any extra New Yorkers subjected to this discriminatory coverage.”
The NYPD additionally agreed to coach officers to “take all potential steps, when per private security,” to permit prisoners to maintain their spiritual headwear on to guard “privateness, rights and spiritual beliefs.”
Based on the settlement, there’s an exception for searches for weapons or contraband.
The police division additionally agreed to maintain monitor of any incidents when prisoners had been compelled to take away spiritual headwear over the following three years.
The 2 ladies who filed the lawsuit alleged that the NYPD violated their constitutional rights, together with the First Modification, Fourth Modification and Fourteenth Modification, and the rights of different individuals of their identical scenario. The settlement left excellent financial claims for damages.
“Now that the NYPD has agreed to finish the coverage, they nonetheless must go a step additional,” Cahn added in his assertion. “That is as a result of this settlement does not handle the hundreds of New Yorkers who had been subjected to this illegal coverage. That is why we’re nonetheless combating in court docket to verify the NYPD pays for the hurt its already inflicted.”
Patricia Miller, chief of the Particular Federal Litigation Division of the New York Metropolis Legislation Division, mentioned in a press release Monday that the settlement was “a very good reform” for the NYPD.
“It fastidiously balanced the division’s respect for firmly held spiritual beliefs with the reputable regulation enforcement must take arrest images, and will set an instance for different police departments across the nation,” Miller mentioned.