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NYPD Changes Policy of Forcing Muslim Women to Remove Hijab During Arrest Processing

Attorneys from the leading civil rights firm Beldock Levine and Hoffman LLP, teamed up with distinguished civil rights firm The Aboushi Law Firm, PLLC to challenge the NYPD policy of requiring Muslim women to unveil during arrest processing.

Today, the City of New York and NYPD agreed to change this policy and will no longer require women to remove their hijab during post-arrest processing. It is a momentous victory that has been fought by attorney Tahanie Aboushi, Founding Partner of the Aboushi Law Firm, for over five years. The policy changes also settled the injunctive portion of the related case, Clark et al., v. City of New York, brought by attorneys from Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP and Albert Fox Cahn, Founder of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project.

Aboushi said, “After years of litigation, community engagement and meetings with representatives of the NYPD and the City, the Muslim community can finally rest assured that its concerns are taken serious. We thank the City of New York and the New York Police Department for recognizing the serious and profound violation of a woman’s right that comes when she is required to unveil.”

“I am so relieved not just on my own behalf, but on behalf of all Muslim women who would have been placed in the impossible position of violating their religious beliefs,” said Plaintiff Gehad Elsayed.

“We are so proud to be a part of this effort,” Jonathan Moore, partner at BLH said. “It is one more step in the direction of making New York a more equal and accepting city.”

“There is no question that we live in a vibrant and diverse city,” BLH Partner Luna Droubi said. “The City’s decision to change its policy to respect the rights of Muslim women is one that should be commended. Other cities should immediately follow its lead.”

Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP is a leading New York City law firm known for significant constitutional cases involving police misconduct, the First Amendment, and employment discrimination including, but not limited to, Floyd v. City of New York, which successfully overturned the NYPD’s decade-long unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy.

The Aboushi Law Firm PLLC is a prominent civil rights law firm that has focused on litigation the civil rights of Muslims in the New York City area and has been a leader in challenging the City’s hijab-removal policy.


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