July 9, 2008
Mugshots and police uniforms for Orthodox Jewish women
The Lower Hudson Journal News has been all over the Orthodox-women-and-crime beat recently. On Sunday, the paper ran two stories of note out of Ramapo, a largely Hasidic community.
The first was one of attainment for Belle Glauber, an Orthodox woman who just graduated from the police academy and has asked to not work Friday nights or Saturdays. This is an career choice for Glauber, and the The Telegraph blog points out some of the critical comments at Yeshiva World:
The second story was about what happens on the opposite side of the police glass, where Sarah Cohen was required to remove her wig for an arrest mugshot. This is a no-no for the religiously observant—I assume getting arrested, but I’m actually referring to removing Cohen’s head-covering—and Cohen’s Hasidic community is up in arms over the action. Sure, it’s common for police departments to require for booking photos the removal of turbans, hats, sunglasses, toupees or anything else they might where on their head. But, for some reason, New Jersey has “no standard state rule.”
I think this is pretty open and shut: If you were arrested, chances are you did something wrong, and chances are it angered G-d, and chances are you have bigger problems than whether your head covered or uncovered. The easiest way to avoid this drama is to not get arrested.