The family of a Texas Muslim teenager arrested for bringing a homemade clock that was mistaken for a bomb to school demanded $15 million in damages and an apology from the city of Irving and its schools to avoid a lawsuit, lawyers said on Monday.
The lawyers represent the family of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a student who dabbles in robotics and attended a Dallas-area high school. His arrest in September sparked controversy, with many saying he was taken into custody because of his religion.
In separate letters to the city of Irving, located west of Dallas, and the Irving Independent School District, lawyers said the ninth-grader was wrongfully arrested, illegally detained and questioned without his parents.
The Mohamed family is asking for $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school district or they will file civil lawsuits within 60 days, the letter said.
“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.
The school district said in a statement its lawyers are reviewing the letter and will respond appropriately. City officials were not immediately available for comment.