PORTLAND, Maine – The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office has apologized for the improper release of booking photographs that showed two Muslim protesters with their hijabs removed.
Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Wednesday that jail officers followed the correct protocol but released the wrong photos to the public after the women were arrested at a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland.
Four Muslim women were among the 17 people arrested during the July 15 protest organized by the Portland Racial Justice Congress. But when the group's booking photographs were released, only two were shown wearing hijabs.
A hijab is a traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women when in the presence of adult males outside their families.
Joyce apologized in a statement that said the department was "ill prepared for the types of arrests."