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Ahmed Mohamed, clockmaker, celebrity and potential plaintiff.
Dallas Morning News
He was, for a little time, the most famous 14-year-old nerd in America.
Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving, Texas, schoolboy who made a clock, brought it to school in September and was arrested for making an alleged homemade hoax bomb, became a cause celebre for many.
After he was released, he was invited to both Google (where he met Sergey Brin) and Facebook. President Barack Obama called him an inspiration for kids who want to study science and invited him to the White House. Time magazine named him in its list of “30 Most Influential Teens of 2015.”
But that was all then. Now, it’s time for the legal action. After no charges were filed against him and he finally got his clock back, attorneys for Ahmed and his family have written to both the city of Irving and to the Irving Independent School District and made demands.
As the Dallas Morning News reports, the letters ask for $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school district. They say he was “publicly mistreated.” They say he suffered “severe psychological trauma.”
The letter to the city says: “Irving Police officials immediately determined that the clock was harmless. The only reason for the overreaction was that the responsible adults involved irrationally assumed that Ahmed was dangerous because of his race, national origin and religion.”
The lawyers accuse the police of “wrongful interrogation,” after Ahmed claimed he’d asked for his parents but the request had been denied. Five officers were allegedly present to detain him.
Both letters also demand written apologies from Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and Police Chief Larry Boyd. The letters also ask for both those apologies and the money within 60 days or there will be a lawsuit.
Ahmed and his family, who are Muslim, now live in Qatar where he was offered a scholarship by the country’s Foundation for Education, Science and Community. However, the letters insist that Texas is the Mohamed family’s real community and that they left only for their own personal security.
“Ahmed fears for his physical safety after receiving many threatening emails,” says the letter to the city. Ahmed’s lawyers also accuse the city and the police of attempting to smear their client after the event.
Neither the City of Irving nor the police department immediately responded to a request for comment.
I wonder how long it will be before the young clockmaker returns to these shores.
2018.11.23 Irving ISD Demand Letter by Avi Selk
2015.11.23 City of Irving Demand Letter by Avi Selk