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Thu Mar 24, 2016, 09:36 AM

Officer Harasses Woman For Wearing Hijab At DC Public Library

Officer Harasses Woman For Wearing Hijab At Shaw Library, Eyewitnesses Say

by Rachel Kurzius in News on Mar 23, 2016 4:02 pm

An officer asked a woman to remove her hijab and then threatened her with arrest when she refused at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library this afternoon, according to eyewitnesses.

"I was within a foot of the woman who was harassed," says Jessica Raven, the interim executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces. She said the exchange began very quietly. ... "All I heard was he started asking her to take off her hijab. My jaw dropped," Raven says. "The man next to her spoke up, but the officer continued to harass her. Ultimately he came towards her in an intimidating way, pulled out his handcuffs and said if she didn't want to take off [the hijab], she had to leave." She left.

George Williams, spokesperson for D.C. Public Library, says that the officer has been removed from that location and that DCPL is investigating the incident, for which it apologized despite not being able to confirm the details. ... "We welcome and serve everybody, and we take very seriously that this woman did not feel welcome," he says. Part of the investigation includes identifying the woman in question.

The officer was not with the Metropolitan Police Department, a spokesperson for MPD says, because the library has its own force. ... Raven identified the officer in question, based on his badge, as one who was dismissed and rehired after pleading guilty to destroying a citizen's property. Williams said that the identity of the officer is also part of the library's investigation.

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Reply Officer Harasses Woman For Wearing Hijab At DC Public Library (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2016 OP
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