Rights violation

Police allegedly release booking photos of Muslim protesters without hijab

PORTLAND, ME - JULY 15: Approximately 150 people march from Lincoln Park down Pearl Street to Commercial Street for a Black Lives Matter event. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

In Portland, Maine, a sheriff’s department is investigating allegations that police violated the rights of four Muslim protesters by releasing booking photos of them not wearing their hijabs to the public. The women were arrested on July 15 for allegedly blocking traffic during a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland and booked into the Cumberland County jail, which requires that Muslim women have booking photos taken with and without their hijabs. On Monday, a man told Portland’s City Council that the women had been “intimidated” into removing their head wear, and that photos of the women without their hijabs had been released to the public — despite the assurance of jail officials that the photos would be kept private.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said that it had been department policy since 2009 to require women to remove their hijabs in order to check for contraband. He further added that the contraband check and the photograph are done only in the presence of a female officer, and that only the photo of the woman wearing the hijab is supposed to be publicly released.

Separately, protester and University of Southern Maine student Matthew Raymond, who wasn’t arrested, told city council members that police had used excessive forces in making arrests during the July protest, alleging that the police targeted black protesters.

Read the full story at CBS News.

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