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Hijab-Wearing NYPD Officer Faced Years of Harassment in Greenpoint: Lawsuit

By Gwynne Hogan | February 6, 2017 5:46pm
 Officer Danielle Alamrani is suing the police department for her treatment in the 94th Precinct.
Officer Danielle Alamrani is suing the police department for her treatment in the 94th Precinct.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

GREENPOINT — A hijab-wearing NYPD officer in the 94th Precinct endured years of anti-Muslim taunts, harassment and an attack by fellow officers who tried to rip-off her head scarf, according to a federal lawsuit.

Officer Danielle Alamrani is suing the Police Department and embattled precinct commander Capt. Peter Rose claiming that no disciplinary action was taken against officers who harassed and attacked her despite her repeated complaints to higher ups.

Her suit, which was first reported by the New York Post, was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court on Feb. 2, for civil and human rights violations.

Alamrani became a police officer in 2006 and a year later converted to Islam, according to the lawsuit. She was assigned to Greenpoint's 94th Precinct in July of 2007 and worked about a year at the precinct with no issues, until she started wearing a hijab in 2008.

She immediately noticed a change in how she was treated, she claimed in the lawsuit, with some coworkers refusing to work with her.

Her union representative soon approached her saying that her bosses didn't like her hijab and wanted her to stop wearing it, according to the civil complaint.

Soon her fellow officers started verbally harassing her, telling her no one liked her, that she shouldn't be allowed to wear a hijab, calling her a "terrorist" and a member of the "Taliban."

On the odd occasions she'd get assigned to patrol, her sergeant would joke she shouldn't "detonate on patrol," according to the lawsuit.

She reported the activity to her supervisor who told her to file a complaint with the NYPD's Equal Employment Opportunity branch, though no action came, and she continued to face discrimination, the lawsuit alleges.

Then on Dec. 25 of 2012 the verbal intimidation turned escalated into a physical attack.

Two fellow officers including Officer Leanna Brown, a liaison to the NYPD's Equal Employment Opportunity program, and Officer Josephine Barone-Buar started screaming at Alamrani that she was a "Muslim b---h" and tried to rip her head scarf off her head.

"I will punch you in the face," they told her, the lawsuit claims.

After the attack, Alamrani made another complaint to the EEO who instead of disciplining the officers, assigned them to different shifts, according to the lawsuit.

94th Precinct commander Rose, who most recently made headlines for comments about acquaintance rape, continued to assign her to shifts where she had to work with the two officers who'd attacked her in 2012, despite her protest.

Meanwhile the verbal abuse at the precinct calling her "ISIS," "terrorist," "Taliban," and "jihad," according to the lawsuit. 

The daily abuse continued until December 2015, when Alamrani was transferred to another precinct, where she continues to work today, her attorney said.

The NYPD deferred comment to the city's Law Department.

The city's law department didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.

In addition to an undisclosed amount of monetary damage, Alamrani has asked the court for NYPD reforms to prevent this type of harassment from happening in the future.

"I certainly hope that this is something that no one else would have to deal with," her lawyer said. "I hope that those that are within the NYPD take notice and take action to make sure this never happens again."

Danielle Alamrani's suit against the NYPD by DNAinfoNewYork on Scribd