63°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Family of teen arrested over homemade clock seeks $15M in damages

DALLAS — The family of a Texas Muslim teenager arrested for bringing a homemade clock that was mistaken for a bomb to school demanded $15 million in damages and an apology from the city of Irving and its schools to avoid a lawsuit, lawyers said on Monday.

The lawyers represent the family of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a student who dabbles in robotics and attended a Dallas-area high school. His arrest in September sparked controversy, with many saying he was taken into custody because of his religion.

In separate letters to the city of Irving, located west of Dallas, and the Irving Independent School District, lawyers said the ninth grader was wrongfully arrested, illegally detained and questioned without his parents.

The Mohamed family is asking for $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school district or they will file civil lawsuits within 60 days, the letter said.

“Understandably, Mr. Mohamed was furious at the treatment of his son – and at the rancid, openly discriminatory intent that motivated it,” attorneys said in one of the letters.

The school district said in a statement its lawyers are reviewing the letter and will respond appropriately. City officials were not immediately available for comment.

The boy’s family said in October that they would be moving to Qatar and he had accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation to study at its Young Innovators Program. The announcement came a few hours after he was at the White House for an astronomy night hosted by President Barack Obama.

Ahmed won support from Obama and other major U.S. figures, including Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who said “having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest.”

The family, now living in Doha, has also traveled the globe to meet foreign dignitaries.

Sudanese state radio reported that his father took him to meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader is accused by the International Criminal Court of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Sudan’s Darfur conflict.

Despite several television appearances and worldwide travel, the Mohamed family says the attention ruined their lives and eventually drove them out of the country, lawyers said.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Doubling minimum wage to $15 part of Dems’ 2020 push

Nearly the entire 2020 Democratic presidential field agrees the federal minimum wage should be more than doubled, reflecting the success of an unorthodox union campaign.

Trump urges anti-abortion activists to stay united for 2020

President Donald Trump distanced himself from Alabama’s new abortion law by laying out differing personal views even as he urged anti-abortion activists to stay united heading into the 2020 election.

Across US, sex education re-examined amid #MeToo era

Lawmakers, educators and teens themselves are re-examining whether sex education should evolve to better address some of the issues raised by #MeToo

More companies handing over tech for China access, report says

The number of foreign companies that feel compelled to hand over technology in exchange for Chinese market access — an issue that sparked President Trump’s tariff fight — has doubled since two years ago, says a report.

Ukraine’s new leader sworn in, immediately dissolves parliament

Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has sought to capitalize on his huge popularity, dissolving the country’s parliament Monday minutes after he was sworn in as president.

Reports: Iran quadrules production of low-enriched uranium

Semi-official news agencies in Iran are reporting that Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium amid tensions with the U.S. over an unraveling atomic accord.