When your fifteen minutes of fame light is fading, often there is a scramble to reignite the flame. This appears to be the case with Ahmed Mohamed, aka Clock Boy. You remember Ahmed, he is the 14-year-old teenager arrested for bringing to class what he called a homemade clock, but what school officials and police believed was a “hoax bomb.” It was later exposed that the “clock” wasn’t made from scratch but was merely the guts of a mass-produced digital clock, complete with AC cord and 9-volt backup battery connection. Ahmed was subsequently arrested and suspended.
For anyone else, the penalties would have been severe and a sense of remorse expected. However, Ahmed was personally invited to the White House by President Obama and in October, was offered and accepted a full scholarship to a prestigious school in Qatar. Time even named Ahmed Mohamed to its list of “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015. Apparently, these accolades have not been enough for Ahmed’s family.
According to the Dallas Morning News Monday, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and Police Chief Larry Boyd received a demand letter from the law firm of Laney and Bollinger to City Hall. Ahmed’s family wants another $10 million from the city, plus a written apology from Van Duyne and Boyd. A legal advisor at Irving City Hall had sent an email his colleagues to expect a lawsuit. His warning was prophetic. Due to be sent today, an attorney for Ahmed Mohamed’s family has written a letter to Irving ISD demanding $5 million and an apology to stave off a civil rights lawsuit.
While Ahmed appeared to be thrilled at his new-found celebrity and world-wide TV appearances, his family claims the attention actually turned their lives upside down, thereby driving them out of the country following a conspiracy theory-fueled backlash which labeled Ahmed a terrorist in training. After the move, the attention started to fade. Enter the money demand.
The Mohameds claim that authorities illegally interrogated Ahmed and threatened to expel the him if he didn’t say his clock was a hoax bomb, and “sought to cover its mistakes with a media campaign that further alienated the child at the center of this maelstrom.” Many new details and accusations to the world-famous story were been added by Ahmed’s family.
The attorneys at Laney and Bollinger are claiming that Mohamed’s civil rights were violated, reports the Daily Caller.
“Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to,” read the law firm’s letter to the city. “The only one who was hurt that day was Ahmed, and the damages he suffered were not because of oversight or incompetence. The school and city officials involved knew what they needed to do to protect Ahmed’s rights. They just decided not to do it.”
It has been said that religion and race were at the center of the controversy over Ahmed’s arrest. Some say it amounted to the unfair profiling of a young Muslim of Sudanese descent, while others saw his case as a bid for media attention. Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, is known in Irving, Texas, as a sharia activist and agitator.
Because of federal educational privacy laws, the school has been unable to tell its side of the story. However, if a lawsuit is filed, that restraint will immediately be lifted. The demand letters give the district 60 days to pay up and apologize, or face a lawsuit.