Saturday, June 6, 2009

Unlawful Coverings

RE: Medina police request patrons take off hats, sunglasses while shopping
by Sue Bielawski, June 04, 2009


I am always concerned and believe that the public needs to be made aware of the potential problems associated with "hat" bans. Usually warranted, a ban on hats, hoodies and sunglasses inside of banks applies to the need for security - since crooks (usually men, I must note, and not Sikh or Jewish men either) use hats and hoodies to conceal their identity. The problem usually arises when someone who believes that they must wear a head covering for other reasons, usually religious or modesty reasons, gets put into the same category as a potential bad guy. From what I have read, it is almost always poor interpretation of the rule by a hard line employee (a la "Barney Fife", if you know who I mean from t.v.). Education MUST go hand in hand with this type of blanket rule, and I hope that it has in this case. But somewhere along the line, some employee will slip past the explanation of the rule, and try to enforce it on a law abiding citizen, just because "it's a hat, and you should do what everyone else has to do" mentalities.

One quote from this article: "The whole idea, according to Thomas, is "If a teller or local business clerk asks a person to comply with bank policy and if the customer refuses to remove a hat, hood or sunglasses, he or she will draw attention to himself or herself -- exactly what a criminal does not want.""

Dear Thomas, anyone refusing to remove their head covering will draw attention to him or herself -- exactly what nobody wants. Be careful.

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See also "Religious garb open to security searches" in the Baltimore Sun, for similar thoughts.
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