Brooklyn police officer Danielle Alamrani has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the New York Police Department and several of its officers, claiming she was harassed and discriminated against by her coworkers, after converting to Islam.
In her suit, Alamrani alleges that, while stationed at Brooklyn's 94th precinct in Greenpoint, she was subjected to taunts of "Taliban" and "terrorist" by other officers after she began wearing a hijab in 2008 following her conversion to Islam the previous year. Despite having received permission to wear the hijab, Alamrani states that she was approached by her police union representative, who "intimated that the 'bosses' were complaining about it."
It only got worse from there.
According to Alamrani's suit, the harassment escalated to the point where one police sergeant joked that she might "detonate on patrol." In 2012, Alamrani alleges, two of her fellow officers attempted to pull the hijab off her head, while screaming "I will punch you in the face," and calling Alamrani a "Muslim bitch."
Throughout the harassment, Alamrani claims, virtually no effort was made to address the toxic work environment by her superiors. While she did file a complaint with the department's Equal Employment Opportunity division, no action was taken.
The final straw appears to have come after another officer posted photographs of Alamrani while she was fulfilling her NYPD obligations at a gun range. According to the lawsuit, those pictures—in which Alamrani was wearing her Hijab—were then posted to Facebook by the other officer, where Alamrani's colleages chimed in, calling her a "fucking disgrace," "a moving target," and, in some instances, threatened violence.
When Alamrani brought the Facebook harassment to the attention of the NYPD's internal affairs unit, she alleges the IA officer "retaliated against her by filing a complaint with child services because there were cracks in the walls at her home."
According to DNAInfo.com, Alamrani was eventually transferred away from the 94th Precinct in 2015.
"I certainly hope that this is something that no one else would have to deal with," her attorney, Jesse C. Rose told the site. "I hope that those that are within the NYPD take notice and take action to make sure this never happens again."
According to her suit, Alamrani is seeking a jury trial to determine whether the NYPD and the officers named in the suit owe her both punitive and compensatory damages "for mental, emotional and physical injury, distress, pain and suffering and injury to his [SIC] reputation."
The New York City Law Department, which handles suits against the city, did not immediately return my request for comment on Alamrani's case.
In late 2016, the NYPD was ordered to reinstate Muslim officer Masood Syed, after he had been suspended for not shaving his beard. In a statement made through his attorney, Syed said at the time that, "it seems like the department has taken the crucial first step in addressing an important and growing concern of officers of many different faiths."
Given Alamrani's suit, however, it seems as if that "crucial first step" needs to be followed by many, many more.