۲۹ مهر ۱۳۹۹ | Oct 20, 2020
A lawsuit filed against Genesee County and two deputies alleges a Muslim woman was forced to remove her hijab in the jail.

A lawsuit filed against Genesee County and two deputies alleges a Muslim woman was forced to remove her hijab in the jail.

Hawzah News Agency - A lawsuit filed against Genesee County and two deputies alleges a Muslim woman was forced to remove her hijab in the jail.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District by the Royal Oak-based Rasor Law Firm on behalf of Cora Cave of Detroit.

Cave was pulled over in her vehicle in December 2018 by Michigan State Police while in Genesee County. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant and transported to the Genesee County Jail, all the time wearing a hijab, a Muslim head covering.

The lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $75,000 states that, for Cave, “a headscarf cannot be removed in public places and in accordance with her sincerely held religious beliefs as a devout Muslim, men may not see more than her face, hands, and feet.”

It’s alleged in the lawsuit that two deputies in the jail’s booking area demanded Cave removed the hijab.

Cave told the deputies she could not remove the hijab in public places, specifically when doing so means she will be seen by males. She was made to remove the hijab by the deputies.

“Wearing a headscarf is a constant reminder of her faith and her religious obligations, and to have her hair and neck uncovered in public is a serious breach of faith and religious practice, and a deeply humiliating and defiling experience that substantially burdens her religious practice,” reads the lawsuit.

Cave was released the following day, but she was not allowed to put the hijab back on until after exiting the jail.

The counts in the lawsuit include First Amendment violation, violation of the equal protection clause, violation of religious land use and institutionalized persons act, and municipal liability inadequate policies/procedures/customs, failure to train, ratification/acquiesence.

While the county has not yet been served the lawsuit, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said based on media accounts and things he has been told: “We would take something like this very seriously.”

“We respect all religions and all religious customs and traditions,” he told MLive-The Flint Journal. “It’s difficult for me to respond to the facts as set forth in the complaint as I have not seen it.”

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson could not immediately be reached for comment.

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