14-Year-Old Muslim Student Arrested After Teacher Said His Homemade Clock Looked Like a Bomb
Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old ninth grader who is Muslim, made the clock and brought it to school to show his engineering teacher - but he was later taken to a juvenile detention center.
Following uproar over his arrest, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said at a Wednesday morning press conference that Ahmed was arrested for bringing "a hoax bomb" to school.
But he added that officers determined it was a "naive accident" and no charges will be filed. "The case is considered closed," he said.
The story has sparked outrage across the country. After the student brought the clock to school, the teacher said the clock was “nice” but advised Mohamed that he should not show anyone, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The clock was eventually confiscated in another class after the alarm kept beeping.
Mohamed told The Dallas Morning News that his English teacher who took the clock said: “It looks like a bomb. I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
Later on, Mohamed was taken out of class by the principal and questioned by police before being taken to a juvenile detention center and fingerprinted.
I expect they will have more to say tomorrow, but Ahmed's sister asked me to share this photo. A NASA shirt! pic.twitter.com/nR4gt992gB— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 16, 2015
The teen was suspended from school.
He told The Dallas Morning News that he wasn’t able to contact his parents during the questioning and said the incident made him feel like that he “wasn’t human” and rather a “criminal.”
Police spokesperson James McLellan said: “We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb. He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation. It could reasonable be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car.”
Irving Independent School District Spokesperson Lesley Weaver issued a statement to NBC-DFW: “We always ask our students and staff to immediately report if they observe any suspicious items and/or suspicious behavior… We will always take necessary precautions to protect our students and keep our school community as safe as possible.”
After his arrest, social media users showed him their support with the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed - and even Hillary Clinton spoke out:
Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015
Even President Obama tweeted his support:
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also sent out his thoughts to the teen:
On Wednesday morning, Mohamed tweeted a thank you for all those who have supported him:
The ninth grader’s father and lawyers plan to meet with the chief of police and principal, according to reports.
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