‘Clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed’s family seeks $15 million, apologies from Texas city

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When Ahmed Mohamed went to his high school in Irving, Texas, Monday, September 14, 2015, he was so excited, he wanted to show his teacher the digital clock he'd made from a pencil case. But the 14-year-old's day ended not with praise, but punishment, after the school called police and he was arrested.

(CNN) — Fifteen million dollars and apologies from the mayor and police chief.

That’s what an attorney says the family of Ahmed Mohamed is demanding from city and school officials in Irving, Texas, or they say they’ll file a civil suit.

In September, 14-year-old Ahmed made international headlines when he brought a handmade clock to school to show his teachers.

One of them thought it was a bomb and notified school authorities, who then called police. Ahmed was detained, questioned and hauled off in handcuffs. At the time, the school said it reacted with caution because the contraption that had wires could have been an explosive device.

It wasn’t. It was just a clock.

In a whirlwind of publicity about the case fueled by social media, #IStandWithAhmed became a trending topic on Twitter, President Barack Obama invited the teen to attend an event at the White House and a foundation offered him a scholarship to study in Qatar.

But despite the surge of support for Ahmed, the attorney representing his family says the teen suffered severe psychological trauma and that his “reputation in the global community is permanently scarred.”

In two letters sent Monday to attorneys representing the school district and the city, attorney Kelly Hollingsworth says that Ahmed’s civil rights were violated by the way the case was handled.

Irving city officials told CNN they were reviewing the letter and had no comment.

School district spokeswoman Lesley Weaver told CNN that the district is aware of the letter and also had no comment.

Hollingsworth, who says he was recently retained by the teen’s father, alleges that the teenager was not read his Miranda rights during his arrest and that those involved with the incident tried to cover up mistakes “with a media campaign that further alienated the child at the center of this maelstrom.”

Rather than calming the situation, Hollingsworth says in the letters, officials in Irving stoked the flames.

“They tried to push responsibility off on the victim — Ahmed. They have even implied publicly that what has come of this has been good for Ahmed, as though the resilience of this fine boy and his fine family somehow excused what they did,” the letters say. “It does not, for there is no excuse.”

Hollingsworth argues that the damages are numerous but difficult to quantify. He notes an online blog post that superimposed the 14-year-old’s face onto a famous image of Osama bin Laden, a “Clock Boy” Halloween costume on a website and harassment suffered by the teen’s siblings.

“Ahmed will now forever be associated with bomb making wholly without basis,” Hollingsworth says.

Among numerous allegations, the letters say that the authorities interrogated the Muslim teenager, alone, for at least one hour and 25 minutes, a period that was recorded on a police officer’s iPhone. At one point, according to the letters, a police officer who first saw Ahmed said, “Yep. That’s who I thought it was.”

“Ahmed clearly was singled out because of his race, national origin and religion,” the letters say.

If officials don’t comply with the family’s demands for apologies and compensation for the damages within 60 days, the letters say, a civil lawsuit will be filed.

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  • Finny Wiggen

    Way to go! You just burned any sympathy America had for you in 2 seconds. An impressive feat!!

    I get “wronged” every day. People cut me off in traffic, people look at me funny in Wal-Mart, waiters make me wait longer than I want to, and on and on and on.

    Maybe I should start demanding $15 million every time I am wronged!

    Get over yourself, and grow up! We all wanted to believe you. But now you have made yourself look entitled, and like a brat. You could have parlayed your 15 minutes of fame into a real future. Sadly it looks like you will use it to whine.

  • Cornelius

    Every time I have a misunderstanding with anyone from now on I will be suing them for as much as I think i can wring out from them.
    This is completely ridiculous!

  • Dan Gray

    Tell the idiot attorney to go pound sand, file the civil lawsuit and see how that works for you when its tossed out of court for stupidity. First the boy never invented anything. It has been proved that the so called clock that he supposedly invented was nothing more then an old Radio Shack clock that he took out of its container. So hows about Radio shack suing this idiot for 15 million for claiming that he invented something that Radio shack sold over the counter? Secondly I dealt with explosives and making bombs every day when I was in the military as that was my job. And I showed a picture of that “clock” to my old commander and even HE said that he would have done the exact same thing the police did as it looked like a bomb timer to him as well. Now if we thought it did and we have over 55 years of dealing with explosives, you can imagine what non educated people on this subject would think. And finally I thought these idiots had moved to the middle east and renounced their American citizenship. If so then what are they still doing here and why are they doing this? Other then to make money that is.

  • bob

    He did not “build a clock.” His agitator, Islamist father took the guts out of an old Radio Shack clock radio and put them in a briefcase. It was made deliberately to look like a bomb.

    The cops said, “Oh, HIM” because he has a history of causing trouble, with multiple suspensions, not because he’s “Muslim.”

    This was a deliberate attempt to stir up PC “outrage”, and so far it’s working very well.

  • bob

    The little boy who chewed a PopTart into al “L” shape had his suspension upheld.

    But he’s white, and Christian. Therefore a terrorist.


    Clock boy would only get what a jury wanted to give him. This Texas City should invite him to go to Helen N Wait. Maybe Obama could chip in and give Mohamed a clock phone.

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