Human rights lawyer arrested while waiting for her family in Times Square

Chaumtoli Huq believes she was targeted because she is Muslim and South Asian

Topics: Police, misconduct, Human Rights, , ,

Human rights lawyer arrested while waiting for her family in Times Square (Credit: Carl Ballou via Shutterstock)

Chaumtoli Huq, 42-year-old human rights lawyer and former top attorney for New York City’s Public Advocate Letitia James, was recently stopped and arrested by police while waiting for her two children, in the latest example of overzealous policing.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by DNAInfo, Huq was standing outside of a Ruby Tuesday in Times Square following a pro-Palestinian rally as her husband and children went inside to use the bathroom. Police officers told her to continue moving, but she refused saying, “I’m not in anybody’s way. Why do I have to move? What’s the problem?”

At that point the officers pressed her against the wall of the restaurant.

DNAInfo reports:



“At that point I didn’t know what was happening. I was just thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ and all of a sudden the officer flips me [around]… he [turns] my body and presses me against the wall of the restaurant,” Huq said. “He shoved my left arm all the way and kept pushing it and handcuffed me. At that point I just like instinctively yelled, ‘Help!’ because I was alone. I screamed, ‘Help!’”…

Huq, who was appointed James’ general counsel in December, had just taken a nine-month leave of absence the day before the rally to advocate for improved factory conditions in Bangladesh, she said.

Huq, who has a nose ring and was wearing a traditional Indian tunic and pants on the day of her arrest, said she believes officers targeted her because she is Muslim and South Asian.

She added that officers went through her purse without probable cause before taking her to the Midtown South Precinct — all while her family was still inside the restaurant.

“I was hesitant to bring a case,” Huq said. “My job is to be behind the scenes, and help all New Yorkers.” She wants to use her experience to “raise awareness about over policing in communities of color. I want there to be a dialogue on policing and community relations.”

Joanna Rothkopf

Joanna Rothkopf is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on science, health and society. Follow @JoannaRothkopf or email jrothkopf@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...