Human rights attorney says she was unjustly arrested by NYPD because she’s Muslim

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- She is a human rights attorney currently on leave as General Counsel for the City’s Public Advocate’s office.

Chamtouli Huq, Bangladeshi Muslim American woman, was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

While there is now a contemplation of dismissal, Huq is firing back, suing the City of New York and the NYPD.

In a federal complaint, Huq says she “…was subjected to excessive force and excessively and unreasonably prolonged, unnecessary and detention…”

The arrest, the complaint goes on to say, is indicative of "a pattern and practice of the NYPD in aggressive overpolicing of people of color…”

"Because I’m a lawyer I know what he’s doing. What he’s doing is he’s trying to create a basis to arrest me and it’s at that point I screamed help and I am not resisting arrest," she said.

On July 19th, Huq was at a rally in support of Palestinian children with her husband and two young children when she says she was harassed by NYPD officers.

As Huq sent her husband and children into a Times Square Ruby Tuesday’s to use the restroom before heading to a Bronx picnic, Huq says she was first confronted by NYPD Officer Ryan Lathrop.

The officer, in his sworn statement, said he was simply trying to move down the sidewalk.

"My husband said please be patient. We’re with kids. We’re going to move. When my husband left the officer approached me again," Huq recounted.

But Huq says without warning, the situation escalated. Lathrop returned with other officers.

He then grabbed her, pushed her against a wall, cuffed her with plastic flex-cuffs and twisted Huq’a arms.

"It’s almost like he waited for my husband to leave to approach me. It felt surreal. I don’t recall a warning."

But the harassment didn’t end there.

According to the complaint filed by Huq and her attorney,Lathrop yelled, "Shut your mouth!," "You're my prisoner!," and "In America, wives take the name of their husbands."

"I was hesitant to bring this case but it was my mom who is an immigrant who gave me that real talk," she said.

In reponse to the lawsuit, the NYPD said in statement to PIX11, "The matter is under internal review. Due to pending litigation, we are not at liberty to discuss the specifics of this case."


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