The family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim high school freshman who was arrested earlier this year for bringing a homemade clock to school, is asking for $15 million in damages as well as apologies from the city of Irving, Texas, and its school district.
His attorneys at Laney & Bollinger Lawyers sent two letters to the officials, requesting money and a gesture of regret from the city, or litigation will be pursued.
Both letters spell out the terms of the civil and Fourth Amendment rights violation that Ahmed endured, and the consequent physical and mental anguish for the 14-year-old boy and his family.
"Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to," the letter to the city said.
"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 detail the events during and after his arrest, iterating that Ahmed was never read his Miranda rights. He was also unlawfully interrogated and searched, his attorneys said, which break the Texas Juvenile Justice Code.
The 10-page letter also cited a list of grievances in the aftermath of the incident, including accounts of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and Chief of Police Larry Boyd condoning the anti-Muslim antagonization of Ahmed and his family – a public relations campaign to save face, the attorneys wrote.
“Ahmed’s reputation in the global community is permanently scarred,” they emphasize, because he was singled out for “his race, national origin, and religion.”
If the city and its school district fail to provide written apologies from the mayor, police chief, and school authorities and $15 million in total within 60 days, civil action will be pursued, the letters stated.
The Associated Press could not reach Irving's city attorney and the district for comment Monday.
This report contains material from the Associated Press.