May 26, 2024

Columbus Post

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Muslim women receive $17.5 million from New York City

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Case in New YorkMukshot veil gone: $17.5 million for Muslim women

After their arrest, the two Muslim women had to remove their veils to cover themselves. They went to court. New York City is now settling a class action lawsuit for millions.

  • New York City to pay $17.5 million in damages to two Muslim women

  • Jamila C. and Arva A. After being arrested, they were forced to remove their hijabs.

  • Since this is a class action lawsuit, each person involved will receive at least $7,824.

New York City wants to pay $17.5 million (about 15.8 million Swiss francs) to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two Muslim women who demanded they remove their headscarves for police photos. In 2018, Jamila C. and Arva A. According to the lawsuit they filed, they felt humiliated and exposed when officers forced them to remove their hijabs after their arrests in 2017.

The settlement amount that has now been agreed upon was filed on Friday and must still be approved by a federal court in Manhattan. The agreement is “in the best interests of all parties,” said Nick Palucci, a spokesman for the city's Department of Justice.

“When they forced me to take off my hijab, I felt like I was naked.”

Petitioner Jamila C.

Mugs taken in front of dozens of police officers

In January 2017, Jamila C. Her alleged abuser's ex-husband was arrested for violating a no-contact order filed under misdemeanor charges. At that time, the police officials threatened to prosecute the crying woman if she did not remove her headscarf. “When they forced me to take off my hijab, I felt like I was naked,” said C.

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Arva A., who was arrested on the same charge in August of that year, said in the lawsuit that she felt her insides break when she was shot in the mug in front of dozens of male officers and more than 30 inmates.

The guidelines have changed from 2020 onwards

Officials initially defended the practice, saying officers must balance respect for religious practices with a “legitimate police need” to take police photos.

However, in 2020, the police changed their line as part of an earlier agreement. Those arrested are allowed to wear headscarves – known as muggles – except for face-covering headscarves.

Once the agreed-upon settlement amount is approved by the court, the money will be divided equally among the plaintiffs according to a deadline set by the judge, said attorney Andrew Wilson, who represented the two plaintiffs. Each eligible person can expect to receive at least $7,824.

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(DPA/kle)