“Clock Kid” Ahmed Mohamed Seeking $15 Million, Apologies from Texas City
Lawyers representing “clock kid” Ahmed Mohamed and his family have sent letters to the city of Irving, Texas seeking $15 million in damages and written apologies, stemming from Ahmed’s high-profile September arrest. If the city doesn’t comply within 60 days, a civil suit will be filed on Ahmed’s behalf.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 23, 2015
As you’ll remember, Ahmed was arrested after teachers notified the authorities that they suspected the homemade clock he brought to school was a bomb–but it wasn’t, it was just a clock. Outrage over the 14-year-old’s arrest and cries of islamophobia quickly spawned into the trending global hashtag #IStandWithAhamed. The aftermath led to the Muslim teen being invited to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama and a foundation gifting him a scholarship to study in Qatar.
Despite his newfound notoriety, Ahmed’s attorneys say his “reputation in the global community is permanently scarred” and he will “forever be associated with bomb making wholly without basis” thanks to the incident. His lawyers allege that the city devised a plan to “trash Ahmed,” specifically by pushing the “false narrative that the school’s hands were tied by Texas’ ‘zero tolerance’ law on school discipline” in order to save face.
As a result they are seeking $10 million from the city and a written apology from Mayor Beth Van Duyne “acknowledging that she has never been presented with any evidence that Ahmed was a ‘pawn’ in any ‘civilization jihad’ or that the events here were planned by Ahmed’s family or friends as part of an ‘influence operation.'” They are also demanding a written apology from Police Chief Larry Boyd for Ahmed’s “wrongful arrest” and are seeking an additional $5 million and apology from the Irving School District.
Both the City of Irving and the Irving Independent School District released statements to the Huffington Post confirming that they have received the letters. However, neither one wished to make any comments on the matter besides that their attorneys are currently reviewing the information.
Since the September incident, Ahmed and his family moved from Irving, Texas to Doha, Qatar for “personal security reasons” according to the letter, after a foundation offered him a full scholarship to study there. Ahmed’s attorney Kelly Hollingsworth said the family’s desire to move back to Texas is a big part of the motivation behind the letters. Hollingsworth told the Washington Post,
Qatar is nice, but it is not Texas. That is their attitude toward this. They are citizens of Irving, Texas, USA, first. Are they devout people devoted to their faith? Absolutely. But they are Texans, too, and they want to come home. What we are seeking is for them to be able to do that with their heads held high.
The world seems split upon news of the hefty monetary requests, with some in agreement that he deserves compensation and others calling the letters a “shakedown,” rallying against the teen and his motives under #IDontStandWithAhmed on Twitter.
It’s unclear how the city and the school district will respond to Ahmed’s demands, but its certain that Ahmed’s family and attorneys are prepared to take legal action if their demands aren’t met.
Read the attorneys’ full letter to the City of Irving below: