The original policy stated that police could ban inmates from wearing headscarves altogether. The incident happened a year ago when Kirsty Powell and her husband were pulled over by police for driving a "low rider" auto, according to the lawsuit.
When officers checked Powell's identification, they discovered she had three outstanding warrants for misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, petty theft, and auto theft. The other two warrants were apparently not for Powell but for her sister, who falsely utilized her name, the federal lawsuit stated.
The woman was allegedly stripped of her hijab during an arrest.
A Muslim woman in the United States, who was forced to remove her hijab when she was in the police custody has been awarded $85,000 as settlement by the authorities.
"Mrs. Powell is wearing the veil in the context of his religious beliefs and was forced to spend the night on her head when she was in detention". She filed a lawsuit in April 2016 and claimed the city's police violated her 1st Amendment rights and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
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Despite explaining her hijab's religious significance, Powell alleged that the head covering was forcibly removed by a male officer during her arrest, and not returned to her until she was released from jail the following day.
Under the act, "individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions" are protected "from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws", according to the Department of Justice.
According to the council, Long Beach voted to pay the settlement, adding that nearby communities would adopt policies to protect religious beliefs.
In late 2016, following Powell's lawsuit, the LBPD changed their policy to allow religiously observant arrestees to retain their head coverings, as long as authorities don't believe those garments pose a safety risk for the person. The religious head covering would then be delivered back to the inmate.
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