Racist Suspect Chicago Cops Unlawfully Tackled, Arrested & Strip Searched Fasting Muslim Woman. Hypocritical White Prosecutors Charged Her With "reckless conduct" & "obstructing justice"
From [HERE] A non-white muslim woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Thursday against the city of Chicago and six of its police officers after she said the officers profiled her based on her religious garb and assaulted her outside a CTA train station last year.
On July Fourth, Itemid (Angel) Al-Matar, who was observing Ramadan, was trying to catch the train home so she could break fast at sunset. As she was walking up the stairs to the CTA "L" stop at State and Lake streets, police officers grabbed her, unprovoked, and threw her down on the landing, the suit alleges.
According to court records, Al-Matar, 32, moved to Chicago from Saudi Arabia two years ago to study English.
A CTA surveillance video shows Al-Matar climbing the stairs alone toward the platform when a group of five officers approaches her from behind. One of the officers grabs her by the shoulder and brings her to the ground, where the police huddle around her and appear to search her.
At a news conference Thursday, Al-Matar's attorney, Gregory Kulis, claimed police ripped off her religious headwear, a hijab and niqab. He said they exposed her midriff while she was handcuffed on the ground.
Al-Matar was arrested and charged with reckless conduct and several counts of obstructing justice. In June, a Cook County judge dismissed the first charge and found Al-Matar not guilty of the other counts.
"If they felt that there was some concern, the initial approach would be like every one of us on the street: 'Excuse me, sir, excuse me, ma'am, can I just ask you a question — what's your name and where are you going?'" Kulis said.
The suit cites Mayor Rahm Emanuel's acknowledgment in December of a prevailing "code of silence" among police and claims the department's failing to investigate and discipline officers is a contributing factor in Al-Matar's incident.
Kulis said the police incident report included information that somebody indicated she was a "lone wolf suicide bomber."
The suit — which alleges use of excessive force, false arrest, unlawful search, malicious prosecution and violation of Al-Matar's right to freedom of religious expression — will continue conversations about Islamophobia in the U.S., said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of Chicago's Council On American Islamic Relations.
Rehab said "Policing ought to protect us from unlawful activity and crimes. It should not be in the business of attempting to protect us against people who look different," he said.
Rehab noted that because Al-Matar was jailed the night of the incident, she was unable to break her fast for another day.
"There is a human at the center of this case. ... under this simple piece of cloth is a full and complex heart-beating human," said Rehab. "We understand that for many people she may look like someone they that they are scared of. But that does not excuse dehumanizing or demonizing her."
Because of the pending litigation, Al-Matar — who goes by the name Angel — spoke only a few sentences at the news conference Thursday. She said she did not leave home this Fourth of July, her second in the U.S.
"I don't want that nightmare to happen again," she said.