In court documents filed recently, a Muslim woman claims that not only was she the victim of a wrongful arrest in New York City but that officers violated her civil rights by stripping her of her religious garb and refusing to give it back. 34-year-old Rabab Musa was handcuffed by NYPD officers and removed from a Starbucks location by uniformed NYPD officers, her court paper allege. She was transported to a holding cell, stripped searched, and stripped of her hijab-a “sign of modesty for women in the Islamic faith.”
The hijab was given back but Musa was transported to another holding facility where it was taken once again and never returned.
Her case states that she was held for hours and repeatedly asked to confess to an unspecified crime that she didn’t commit or know anything about. At one point, she says that an NYPD officer took a picture of her with his personal cell phone without her consent.
After more than six hours in police custody, Musa was released without being charged with any crime. She is now suffering from severe mental distress and fears for her safety on the street. That fear is only magnified by the humiliation she felt after being denied the right to wear her hijab to cover herself from the eyes of men in both of the precinct houses in which she was detained.
The NYPD can argue that it has up to 24 hours to arraign or release suspects. However, the NYPD must show at the very least, a reasonable basis for the detainment. The incident reported by Musa happened last September and no charges have been leveled yet.
If you’ve been held against your will without a good reason, or if your basic civil rights have been violated in any way, you could have the grounds for a false arrest lawsuit. Contact an experienced New York City wrongful arrest attorney today.