The family of Ahmed Mohamed -- a Muslim teenager who was arrested at his high school in Irving, Texas, earlier this year for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb -- is seeking $15 million in damages and an apology from the city and its schools in order to avoid a lawsuit, Reuters reported Monday. The Mohamed family is reportedly asking for $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school district, or they will file civil lawsuits within 60 days.
In separate letters to the city of Irving and the Irving Independent School District, the lawyers representing Mohamed’s family stated that Mohamed was wrongfully arrested as well as illegally detained and questioned, without his parents being present. The family’s attorneys argued that the teenager’s name and likeness will be “forever associated with arguably the most contentious and divisive socio-political issue of our time,” Fox News reported.
"Understandably, Mr. Mohamed was furious at the treatment of his son -- and at the rancid, openly discriminatory intent that motivated it," attorneys said in one of the letters, Reuters reported.
Mohamed, 14, was arrested Sept. 14 when his teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb. Criminal charges were dropped against the teenager, but Mohamed was still suspended from school for three days and had his clock confiscated. His arrest sparked a global response and ignited a national discussion on how Muslims are perceived in the U.S.
Twitter, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama all showed support for Mohamed, who was even invited to the White House after the ordeal. But the Mohamed family insisted that the attention actually ruined their lives and drove their decision to leave the United States, their lawyers said, as Reuters reported. The Mohamed family announced in October that they planned to move to Qatar and that Mohamed had accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation to study its Young Innovators Program. The family is now living in Doha, the capital of Qatar.