Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old so-called “clock kid” who made headlines after being arrested for bringing a homemade clock to his Texas school, is seeking US$15 million in damages and written apologies from Irving City mayor and police chief. He has engaged a lawyer to send “letter of demand” to his former school and city officials for US$15 million and also written apologies from Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and Police Chief Larry Boyd for their handling of the situation.
Again raising the case of discrimination, the letter wrote, “Ahmed clearly was singled out because of his race, national origin, and religion. Let’s face it; if Ahmed’s clock were ‘Jennifer’s clock,’ and if the pencil case were ruby red bedazzled with a clear rhinestone skull and crossbones on the cover, this would never have happened.” Ahmed was vaulted into the international spotlight in mid-September after he was arrested and allegedly interrogated by police for bringing a homemade clock to school that some felt looked like a bomb.
The incident led to a considerable sympathetic donations towards his family, gifts from corporations, and even prompted internship offers from Facebook and Google and a personal invitation to the White House from President Barack Obama. Ahmed’s family has since moved to Qatar, where he was offered a chance to study at one of the county’s elite prep schools. If the US$15 million were not paid in 60 days, the attorneys will file a formal lawsuit, the letters say. “Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to,” letters obtained by the Daily News from Mohamed’s attorneys read.
Suspicion however, is on the rise that the whole event is a hoax and Ahmed’s family intentionally planned for the incident. Ralph Kubiak, Ahmed’s former history teacher at Sam Houston Middle School, told Dallas Morning News that the kid “may not be as innocent as he seems”, and the disciplinary record at the school reportedly shows a series of complaints by teachers and staff. Kubiak said he and Ahmed spoke after the incident and the kid claimed, “I told you, one day I’m going to be – and you told me yourself – I’m going to be really big on the Internet one day.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that Ahmed was a serial troublemakers who racked up “weeks of suspensions” during middle school. The teen blamed all those suspensions on the school, citing discrimination and Islamophobia. When brought to the principal’s office, he challenged the principal about his First Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution. The Daily Beast reported that a day earlier before the incident, Ahmed’s 17-year-old sister, Eyman, similarly being suspended for a bomb-related incident in her school.