After she was arrested in 2018, police forced 24-year-old Clara Ruplinger to remove her hijab for a mugshot. Although Ruplinger always wore her hijab while out in public, the room full of men representing the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections refused to let her snap her arrest picture wearing the religious headdress, so they used intimidation and threats to force her to take it off, leaving her exposed for the photo.

Now, Ruplinger hopes to fight for her first amendment rights because she felt they were violated on the day of her arrest. She has filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, the city, Mayor Greg Fischer, and two other people involved in her humiliation.

“So much pressure comes with wearing a hijab in Western society,” the young activist said. She confirmed that the police put a lot of pressure on her to remove her hijab so they could take her mugshot without the religious headdress on her person.

Police arrested Ruplinger when they saw the Muslim woman joining forces with other protestors in downtown Louisville. She was part of a protest that blocked elevators to the immigration courts due to the immigration problems America was facing at the time. Although she was in the middle of chaos and a near-violent reaction from the police, she said her faith and her hijab gave her strength.

“When I wear it, and when I feel it on me, I’m reminded how to conduct myself in a way God has asked to me,” she said. “With compassion, truth, and justice.”

Ruplinger was arrested for joining the Louisville protests against President Trump’s anti-immigration agenda. For her first mugshot, she wore her hijab. However, the police forced her to take a second mugshot with the religious headdress removed.

She believes that this was a violation of her religious rights. She was willing to take the hijab-less mugshot so long as she could do so in a private room filled with women. Her accommodation was denied, and she was forced to remove her religious clothing in front of men, which is a violation of her religion.

“Those questions should have never been asked,” she said. “But eventually, because of this intimidation and pressure, I took my hijab off, which was really hard.”

Soha Saiyed, Ruplinger’s lawyer, confirmed that the victim seeks compensation for damages. But they also want every officer trained on religious rights and for the Louisville Department of Corrections to remove the mugshot of the Muslim protestors without her hijab.

“Clara’s rights were violated, both under federal law and state law. Clara’s not asking for anything beyond what every American is entitled to,” Saiyed said.

When the police violated her religious rights, Ruplinger felt defeated by a system that did not seem to care about her rights or the rights of others.

“I felt like I spent all this energy and time fighting for the rights of others. I couldn’t even stand up for my own rights.”

A representative from the department of corrections has failed to comment on the matter.