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'Clock Boy' Loses Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

05-20-2017

A federal court has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of the Texas teenager known as "Clock Boy."

Ahmed Mohamed, was nicknamed "Clock Boy" after the then 14-year-old was arrested and suspended for bringing a homemade clock to school. 

One of his teachers heard the device beeping and sent the Irving MacArthur High School student to the principal's office where he was questioned, arrested and later suspended for three days.

His family filed a lawsuit against the City of Irving, its school district and the school's principal for allegedly discriminating against the 15-year-old. The lawsuit claims Ahmed's civil rights were violated when he was interrogated without his parents and arrested on hoax bomb charges.

However, Judge Sam Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said the family's attorney did not prove he was treated differently based on his race or religion.

He granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case against the city and the school district.  He also dismissed the case against the school's principal, Daniel Cummings. 

The plaintiff's complaint "does not allege that [Cummings] treated [Mohamed] differently than other similarly situated students and that the unequal treatment was based on religion or race," Lindsay wrote.

"A.M. never stated the device was anything other than a clock, never threatened anyone with harm, never claimed to have made a bomb, and never attempted to scare or cause alarm to anyone. When he asked for his parents, he was told that he could not speak with them because he was in the middle of an interrogation," his attorney argued according to the court's ruling.

However, police originally said Ahmed was not forthcoming with information and the school staff was concerned about the device possible being the infrastructure for a bomb. 

"It was a very suspicious device. We live in an age where you can't take things like that to school. Of cours, we've seen across our country horrific things happen. We have to err on the side of caution," Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd told FOX 4 in 2015.

Ahmed's arrested sparked protest on social media, with supporters claiming he faced discrimination because of his religion and ethnicity. 

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