After a day of calls flooding in to the Irving Police Department and the MacArthur High School, the local police chief announced Wednesday that they are no longer considering filing charges against 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed.
The high school freshman was arrested Monday after bringing a homemade clock to school, that some teachers and the principal thought “looked like a bomb.”
A press conference with the Irving school district leaders, Police Chief Larry Boyd and others, was held Wednesday to try to do damage control.
At the conference, Chief Boyd said the device was “certainly suspicious in nature.”
School officials also doubled down on their actions, even after the police said they will not file charges against him. The school claims all of this was done “for his safety and for the safety of the officers.”
“The follow-up investigation revealed the device apparently was a homemade experiment, and there’s no evidence to support the perception he intended to create alarm,” Boyd added.
Boyd claimed their overreaction “would have been the same” no matter what religion and ethnic background Ahmed Mohamed was.
“We live in an age where you can’t take things like that to school,” he answered. “Of course we’ve seen across our country horrific things happen, so we have to err on the side of caution.”
Ahmed’s father said he is proud of his son.
“He fixed my phone, my car, my computer,” Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed explained. “He is a very smart, brilliant kid.”
After three decades in the country, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed said “that is not America,” to arrest an aspiring engineer because of school and police paranoia and racism.
Mohamed did say that he is pleased to see the nation unite around his son and come out in support.
“What is happening is touching the heart of everyone with children,” he continued. “And that is America.”
Ahmed too, said that “it made me really happy to see all these people support me.”
But he does not plan to stay at the school, due to the racist humiliation he faced there.
“I’m thinking about transferring from MacArthur to any other school,” Ahmed said.
This all started on Monday, when Ahmed showed his teachers the circuit-stuffed pencil case, his teachers told him they thought it looked like a bomb, and police agreed.
“Here in high school, none of the teachers know what I can do,” Ahmed explained from his room, as the local Dallas News interviewed him.
Ahmed said he hoped that his clock would show the teachers how good he was at throwing together spare parts to make electronic devises.
But when he showed the engineering teacher first thing Monday morning, the teacher could only see see his skin color and religion.
“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Ahmed recalled. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”
In English class, a teacher complained after the alarm went off. He showed her the invention after class and apologized that the alarm had interrupted class.
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” Mohamed said.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
The teacher called the principal. The principal called the police.
Ahmed was pulled out of sixth period and arrested.
Four other police officers waited for the one who grabbed him. Once there, one of the officers said: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
Ahmed had never seen him before, so he had no choice but to assume that this meant the officer had racially profiled him.
The principal and police told him that unless he signed a confession statement then he would be expelled from school.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed recalled.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
The officers interrogated him for several periods, never letting up.
Even now, the police admit “we have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
Police say they are “still investigating.”
Watch the interview with Ahmed below…
“They thought, ‘How could someone like this build something like this unless it’s a threat?’” Ahmed stated.
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, said. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
At 12:58 p.m., President Barack Obama sent a tweet extending a White House invitation to Ahmed, and showing that he supports the youth’s technical curiosity.
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
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Sectary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted her support,too, saying, “Ahmed, stay curious and keep building.”
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
Obama’s tweet adds, “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”
Ahmed Mohamed still has this suspension on his school record.
(Article by M. David and M.A. Hussein)
Source: Counter Current