Hijab woman accused police of being racist
Posted by sioespain en 19 noviembre, 2010
A POLICEMAN accused of trying to pull off a Muslim woman’s headdress has told a Sydney court he isn’t a racist.
Senior Constable Paul Fogarty pulled over Carnita Matthews, 45, on June 8 this year at Woodbine in Sydney’s southwest.
She later filed a police complaint claiming he tried to pull off her hijab, which concealed her entire face except for her eyes.
Mr Matthews was subsequently charged with one count of knowingly making a false complaint.
She pleaded not guilty to the charge in August, and at Campbelltown Local Court today her lawyer, Stephen Hopper, said police had failed to verify the identity of the person making the complaint.
This means they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was his client who made it, Mr Hopper said.
Const Fogarty, of Macquarie Fields Highway Patrol, told the court he twice asked Ms Matthews to remove her veil because he couldn’t fully see her face.
“I gestured for her to lift her hijab,” he said.
“I said I just wanted to verify. I then gestured to her to lift her hijab.”
A police video of the incident, which was played to the court, showed Const Fogarty approaching Ms Matthews’ black Honda Odyssey and checking her identity.
He then issued her with an infringement notice for not displaying her green P plates properly.
At this point Ms Matthews becomes irate, accusing Const Fogarty of being “racist”, according to the police video.
“All cops are racist,” she is heard saying.
“You know you are giving me a ticket for crap.”
Police prosecutor Lisa McEvoy asked Const Fogarty if he objected to being called racist. He agreed, saying: “Because I’m not.”
“Did it have any bearing on you that she had a face veil?” Ms McEvoy asked.
“It (issuing the fine) was because she did not have her P plates showing,” he replied
(Sources: NewsCom Au)