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Ahmed Mohamed sues city and school district for $15 million

By Shawn Price
Ahmed Mohamed (center, seen here at the White House Astronomy Night in October), who was arrested when he brought a homemade clock to school in Irving, Texas, is suing the city and school district for $15 million over his treatment. Pool Photo by Aude Guerrucci/UPI
Ahmed Mohamed (center, seen here at the White House Astronomy Night in October), who was arrested when he brought a homemade clock to school in Irving, Texas, is suing the city and school district for $15 million over his treatment. Pool Photo by Aude Guerrucci/UPI | License Photo

IRVING, Texas, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas teen who was suspended from school when his teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb is seeking $15 million in damages from the city and school district of Irving, his lawyer said.

Attorneys for Mohamed claimed in letters sent to the city and school district the teen's civil rights were violated and his "reputation in the global community is permanently scarred"

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Kelly Hollingsworth, representing the teen and his family who have since moved to Qatar, is requesting $10 million from the city of Irving and $5 million from the school district. Hollingsworth also issued a demand for written apologies from the school district, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd and Beth Van Duyne, mayor of Irving.

"The numbers are huge and we admit that," Hollingsworth said. "But the damages caused against this young man and his family are incalculable."

In the letters, Hollingsworth explained the psychological effects of the incident as well.

"One also would anticipate that Ahmed, quite reasonably, will have a lifelong fear of the law enforcement and educational establishments that have let him down so terribly," he wrote.

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"Ahmed was subjected to on-campus detention and 7-on-1 interrogation [that] went on for approximately one hour and 25 minutes," Hollingsworth wrote. "Ahmed constantly was pressured to sign a written statement admitting that he intended to bring a 'hoax bomb' to school."

Further, Hollingsworth stressed Mohamed's questioning by police was a "wrongful interrogation" in which the teen was denied "the right to talk with his parents, and questioning Ahmed without first reading him his Miranda rights should be an affront to all Americans."

Instead of admitting a mistake, Hollingsworth said, school district spokesperson Lesley Weaver chose to "trash Ahmed," and Van Duyne never presented "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.'"

The city and school district will have 60 days to meet the demands of the suit or Hollingsworth will file a civil lawsuit.

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