Woman reaches settlement with Ramsey County after being forced to remove hijab for mugshot

Ramsey County reached a settlement agreement with this woman, who claims jailers forced her to take off her hijab for her booking photo in 2013.

A woman who says she was forced to strip in front of jailers and remove her hijab for a booking photo reached a $120,000 settlement with Ramsey County.

According to the lawsuit, Aida Shyef Al-Kadi turned herself in after a warrant was issued because she missed a court appearance for a traffic violation in 2013.

She says she was forced to take off her religious head scarf and long dress and instead was told to wear a bed sheet.

Tuesday, she called the experience “humiliating,” saying she felt an obligation to make sure this didn’t happen to anyone else.

“I just was desperate. I really wanted it to happen and I felt like letting it go would not bring justice,” she said of the settlement. “There’s other women who probably would have the same issue I would have, so it’s very important to me.”

The settlement also requires that the county destroys the booking photo and implement policies to prevent issues such as this in the future.

Ramsey County gave the following statement to FOX 9:

We believe that this settlement agreement is fair and in the best interests of all of our residents. Ramsey County’s values hold that the rights, beliefs, well-being and dignity of all our residents are protected and honored in all aspects of what we do. The practices outlined in the agreement to improve the booking process for those with religious head coverings better reflect these values. The County Board looks forward to updates from the Sheriff’s Office as implementation of these practices continues.