Clock Boy’s Discrimination Lawsuit Blows Up

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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A federal judge in Texas has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the family of Ahmed Mohamed, which alleged his high school discriminated against him when officials mistook his homemade clock for a bomb.

The Daily Mail reports the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed the Mohamed family’s suit for failing allege facts showing discriminatory or unconstitutional actions on the part of school administrators or local officials.

“Plaintiff does not allege any facts from which this court can reasonably infer that any IISD employee intentionally discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed based on his race or religion,” court documents read.

The family alleged that school administrators discriminated against Ahmed because of his religion and ethnicity — he is Sudanese and practices Islam. They also claim his detention and interrogation without access to his family or a lawyer violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

Mohamed was taken into police custody after he displayed a homemade clock to teachers at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. Police and school officials feared the device was a bomb, though they quickly determined the gadget was harmless.

The incident precipitated a national drama heavy on accusations of racism and Islamophobia, that concluded with Mohamed high profile visit to the White House. During the same period, he also met with Queen Rania of Jordan, and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, a notorious war criminal who has been charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court.

A flurry of litigation followed his arrest. The Mohamed family brought defamation lawsuits against local political officials and conservative media personalities, alleging they made libelous statements about Ahmed. The family hoped to recover a significant monetary award, though the suits were dismissed in short order.

“These acts by the authorities show blatant disregard for the civil rights of this American,” said Susan Hutchison, the family’s attorney, according to local press.

The family has until June 1 to file an amended complaint.

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