'Clock Boy' demands $15 million in lawsuit

by Gregory Tomlin |

(REUTERS/Irving Texas Police Department/Handout via Reuters)A homemade clock made by Ahmed Mohamed, 14, is seen in an undated picture released by the Irving Texas Police Department September 16, 2015. Mohamed was taken away from school in handcuffs after he brought the clock to his Dallas-area school and the staff mistook it for a bomb, police said. Mohamed's family is now asking for million in damages from the city and the Irving ISD.

DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – The boy who took apart an existing clock and repackaged it in a small metal briefcase, leading to his arrest by Irving police who believed at first the device was a bomb, is demanding $15 million in a lawsuit against the City of Irving and the Irving Independent School District.

Ahmed Mohamed was detained by police after he brought the clock to school and showed it to his teachers. The teacher contacted administrators who notified police. During an interrogation, Mohamed reportedly had difficulty explaining to officers what the clock was and the reason he brought it to school.

Irving police quickly determined that the clock was not dangerous. It appears that the police kept escalating the situation because they were frustrated that they failed to coerce Ahmed into signing a false confession.
- Letter from Mohamed family attorneys

According to the lawsuit, the hour-and-a-half long detention by police officers has caused a significant strain on the boy and his family, which left the United States for Qatar after the event. The family, the lawsuit says, wants to return to their home in Irving when it is "safe."

In the demand letter, attorneys for Mohamed's family write:

"No one who saw Ahmed's clock that day thought it was a bomb. Ahmed did nothing to support the inference that he intended to cause alarm, or any reaction at all (other than his teachers' approval), in anyone.

Irving police quickly determined that the clock was not dangerous. It appears that the police kept escalating the situation because they were frustrated that they failed to coerce Ahmed into signing a false confession."

Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and Police Chief Larry Boyd are named in the lawsuit, which demands a letter of apology from both officials.

After the incident at the school made national headlines, President Obama said via Twitter, "Cool clock, Ahmed."

Mohamed also received messages of support from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among others. He also received invitations to the White House, Silicon Valley and the United Nations and even took a red-carpet photo with Omar al-Bashir, the dictator of Sudan.

The attorneys for the Mohamed family gave the school district and city 60 days to respond, after which they claim they will file a civil suit to seek resolution in court.