Posted on April 8, 2024

New York City to Pay $17.5 Million for Forcing Women to Remove Hijabs for Mug Shots

Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, April 5, 2024

New York City agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a lawsuit by two Muslim-American women who said the police violated their rights after arresting them by forcing them to remove their hijabs before being photographed.

The preliminary class action settlement covers men and women required to remove religious attire before being photographed. It was filed on Friday in Manhattan federal court, and requires approval by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.

Payouts will total about $13.1 million after legal fees and costs are deducted, and could increase if enough of the more than 3,600 eligible class members submit claims. Each recipient will be paid between $7,824 and $13,125.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in 2018 by Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, who said they felt shame and trauma when police forced them to remove their hijabs for their mugshots {snip}

Both had been arrested for violating orders of protection that they called bogus. {snip}


In response to the lawsuit, New York’s police department agreed in 2020 to let men and women wear head coverings during mugshots, so long as their faces could be seen.