FERNDALE, Mich. (FOX 2) – The Ferndale Police Department plans to implement new policies following a lawsuit filed by the Council on American Islamic Relations regarding the removal of a Muslim woman’s hijab after a traffic stop in 2021.
The Michigan chapter of CAIR said it had reached a “satisfactory settlement” with the department after Helena Bowe accused officers of violating her religious freedom when she was told to remove her head for a ID photo.
Bowe was arrested on June 21 last year after police checked her license plate and believed she had an expired tag. Although her tags have not expired, Bowe revealed that she had a taser in her purse, which police said she needed a permit for.
The events that followed sparked a lawsuit against the department when Bowe said she was searched by a police officer and ordered to remove her abaya. “The guard forced our client to remove her religious blanket despite her pleas not to have to remove it, stating that removing it puts her in a state of undress and it is a violation of her sincere religious beliefs,” said said lawyer Amy Doukoure. said at a press conference.
According to a statement from CAIR-MI this week, a monetary settlement has been reached with the ministry. Ferndale Police will also allow Muslim women to continue wearing their hijab when making a photo booking and ban transgender searches.
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“We are pleased to announce this settlement and believe the policies Ferndale has put in place will help protect the religious rights of Muslim women who may find themselves in their custody,” Doukoure said.