DC library officer who demanded hijab removal back at work

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(RNS) A security officer at a Washington, D.C., public library who demanded that a library patron remove her headscarf is back on the job, reports the DCist, an online publication.

Timothy Craggette, who served 28 years as a D.C. police officer before he went to work for the city’s library system, had been on administrative leave since a March 23 incident at a neighborhood library in which he demanded a woman remove her head covering. At least two other library patrons said it was a hijab, worn by observant Muslim women, and that Craggette was harassing her. Craggette acknowledged that he took out handcuffs and told the woman that if she didn’t remove it, she would have to leave, which she did. She has not come forward since the incident.

Craggette maintained the woman was wearing a hoodie, not a hijab. But officials say there are no rules against hoodies in the city’s libraries.

The weekend after the incident, about 50 people protested against Islamophobia outside the library, in the Shaw neighborhood. The library has apologized for the incident and while the investigation into Craggette continues, DCist reported that he now works at night so that he will not have to interact with the public.

Craggette was dismissed from the D.C. police force in 1990 for destroying a citizen’s property but was later rehired, reported WUSA9, a local television station.

(Lauren Markoe is a national reporter for RNS)