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The kid arrested for building a clock is suing his Texas city and school for $15 million

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
A carefree childhood?
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The family of Ahmed Mohamed, the teenager who was arrested in Texas in September for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb, is now suing the City of Irving and the Irving School District for $15 million.

In the demand letter filed to the City of Irving, the family attorneys wrote that “Ahmed was treated as though he had no rights at all, despite his American citizenship,” stating that he “clearly was singled out because of his race, national origin, and religion.” With a note of sarcasm, the lawyers write that Mohamed was denied basic rights that should be granted even to the American citizens with “Muslim-sounding names.”

Writing to the school, the lawyers also listed some of the consequences that the episode had on the child’s life, particularly the public exposure of his name, image, and personal details, including:

  • Ahmed having his 14-year-old face superimposed onto a famous image of Osama bin Laden—beard included—appearing below a blogger’s rant against the “parents of this little terrorist in training”…
  • …having Ahmed’s name, and particularly his likeness, forever associated with arguably the most contentious and divisive socio-political issue of our time…
  • …the loss of security that goes with having Ahmed’s Irving home address tweeted out, and being labeled on [Glenn] Beck’s show as [a] “pawn” of the architects of a “global jihad.”

Adding more calculable costs, such as private education expenses for Mohamed and his siblings, the lawyers demanded $10 million from the City of Irving, and $5 million from the school district. Further, they requested written apologies from the mayor and chief of police to Mohamed, whose family, meanwhile, recently announced their decision to relocate to Qatar

While acknowledging that the compensation requested is sizable, ABC reports, the lawyers think that “the damages caused against this young man and his family are incalculable.”

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