In addition to the $85,000 in damages awarded to Powell, the suit "prompted a city-wide policy change by the Long Beach Police Department to ban the practice of forcible removal of the hijab for female arrestees in custody", CAIR-LA Civil Rights Attorney Marwa Rifahie said in the statement. The warrants were for resisting arrest, vehicle theft and petty theft. She was arrested after police found a warrant under her name for a shoplifting incident, CNN reported on Friday.
"She cried throughout the ordeal and experienced humiliation when both her religious beliefs and personal integrity were violated", Powell's lawsuit says.
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The woman's husband requested a female officer handle the arrest, but the arresting officers denied the request and told Powell she had to remove her hijab, according to the report.
The woman was allegedly stripped of her hijab during an arrest.
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Long Beach voted Tuesday to approve the settlement, CAIR said, adding that nearby communities have already adopted policies protecting religious headwear in detention following similar lawsuits. The officers informed her that she was "not allowed to wear her hijab" and that they were "allowed to touch a woman", the lawsuit states. "I want my Muslim sisters to always feel comfortable and safe wearing a hijab and to stand up for what's right", she said.
'She felt that the male officers and male inmates had seen parts of her body that they should not have seen, according to her religious beliefs'. The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced the settlement and praised Powell. The act "protects individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws", according to the Department of Justice.
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Assistant City Attorney, Monte Machit said, "The city made a decision to settle because we viewed the claims by her as meritorious".