A Muslim woman living in America wants to have an exception to how mugshots are done. Now, she is filing a lawsuit against the police officers who arrested her back in 2018.

Clara Ruplinger, 24, was arrested in July 2018 along with eight other people after they blocked elevators to the immigration court inside the Heyburn Building. The protest was one in a string calling for the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid outrage over the separation of families at the U.S. southern border.

All nine of the protesters were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing.

In retaliation, she filed on July 25 wherein Ruplinger alleges that while she was being booked, male officials made her take off her hijab and take a mugshot photo although “removing her headscarf in the presence of men with no familial relation violated her religious beliefs.”

When booked, Ruplinger says female officers initially had her remove her headscarf for evaluation and then allowed her to put it back on for her mugshot.

“However later, multiple officers approached her and said you have to take your scarf off so that we can take a picture to properly record your head dimensions,” Ruplinger’s attorney, Soha Sayed said.

Ruplinger’s attorneys Jeremiah Reece and Soha Sayed say the officers took the photo, despite Ruplinger begging them not to.

It is against her religion to show her hair to men who are unrelated to her, which she said made it even more puzzling why that photo was made public, instead of the one with her hijab.

“There is no explanation whatsoever and has been no explanation for why they decided that that was the photograph that they would make publicly available,” Reece said.

At the time, Metro Corrections’ booking process policy stated photographing and fingerprinting is to identify marks or other physical features. Those rules were in place since 2010.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Reece and Sayed reached out to Mayor Greg Fischer and the county’s attorney’s office.

“The initial response from them was well we didn’t think we did anything wrong and we don’t think the law was violated,” Sayed said. “Then it was – well we still don’t think we did anything wrong, but here are those policy changes that we currently made.”

Soha Saiyed, Ruplinger’s lawyer, confirmed that the victim seeks compensation for damages. But they also want every officer trained on religious rights and for the Louisville Department of Corrections to remove the mugshot of the Muslim protestors without her hijab.

“Clara’s rights were violated, both under federal law and state law. Clara’s not asking for anything beyond what every American is entitled to,” Saiyed said.

Watch the video below for more details:

Source: AWM

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