FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — CAIR Michigan filed a claim today against Ferndale Police Department for forcibly removing a hijab of an African American Muslim woman during what the organization is calling an unconstitutional traffic stop on 8 Mile Road near Woodward.
At the press conference, CAIR Michigan’s staff attorney, Amy Doukoure says her client, Helena Bowe was racially profiled by the Ferndale Police Department while the incident took place in Detroit.
Bowe was eventually arrested for carrying a taser and according to Ferndale Police Department, one needs a permit to carry the weapon legally, which Bowe did not have.
However, the matter got worse when Bowe got to the station and was forced to remove her abaya, a search was conducted by a male officer, and she was also coerced to remove her hijab for a booking photo. All this happened while Bowe pleaded for a female officer to conduct the process.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued today by the Ferndale Police Department, it reads in part that traffic stop and search were conducted ethically and appropriately. Ms. Bowe was stopped on 8 Mile Rd.—which, as a shared road between the Cities of Ferndale and Detroit, is routinely patrolled by both police departments.
Ferndale Police Chief Dennis Emmi acknowledges that Ms. Bowe was asked to remove her hijab for a set of photos. And Chief Emmi will also reach out to CAIR to discuss how the Police Department can better serve citizens of the Muslim faith as well as improve the current policies that meet the needs of the community better.