Attorneys for the family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving high school student who made international headlines after being arrested earlier this year for bringing a homemade clock to school, have sent letters to both the city of Irving and the Irving School District demanding apologies and $15 million in damages.
“The numbers are huge, and we admit that,” said attorney Kelly Hollingsworth from his offices near Lubbock. “But the damages caused against this young man and his family are incalculable.
Hollingsworth is representing Ahmed and his family, who relocated out of the country to Qatar just 24 hours after his meeting with President Obama.
In the letters, the attorney claims that after a teacher became suspicious about Ahmed’s clock, “Ahmed was subjected to on-campus detention and 7-on-1 interrogation [that] went on for approximately one hour and 25 minutes […] Ahmed constantly was pressured to sign a written statement admitting that he intended to bring a ‘hoax bomb’ to school.”
Both letters claim that Mohamed’s civil rights were violated, and he and his family have suffered physical and mental anguish because of the ordeal.
Hollingsworth says the “wrongful interrogation,” the act of denying a young boy the right to talk with his parents, and questioning Ahmed without first reading him his Miranda rights should be an affront to all Americans.
“When that was done, it was done to all of us,” the attorney said. “Every single one of us have that right.”
The letters claim Ahmed was singled out “because of his race, national origin, and religion.”
“Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to,” read the 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.”
The letters demand $10 million be paid to the family by the city of Irving, and $5 million from the school district.
Since the incident occurred, Ahmed has been offered scholarships, invitations to move to and study in other countries and to meet with execs at companies like Google. Ahmed also met with President Obama and NASA after POTUS extended an invite of his own. Additionally, there’s been an outpouring of support for Ahmed from celebs and non-celebs alike.
Should all of this have been enough for Ahmed and his family to move to Qatar without asking to be compensated? Or do you think they are justified in their request for damages?