Ahmed Mohamed was wearing a NASA T-shirt when he was placed in handcuffs and led out of his high school.
The 14-year-old had brought a homemade digital clock to MacArthur High School in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas.
Now, the teenager, who described his hobbies as “inventing stuff” is suspended and may be charged with making a hoax bomb, according to a Tuesday report from the Dallas Morning News.
Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that no charges will be filed against Mohamed.
Boyd called it a “naive accident.”
Here’s a photo of Mohamed in handcuffs.
I expect they will have more to say tomorrow, but Ahmed’s sister asked me to share this photo. A NASA shirt! pic.twitter.com/nR4gt992gB
— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 16, 2015
He told the newspaper that he loved his robotics club in middle school and wanted to find a similar group at his new school. The clock he made had a circuit board and an hour and minute display in a pencil case.
Irving Police released a photo of the device during Wednesday’s press conference.
— Naheed Rajwani (@naheedrajwani) September 16, 2015
Mohamed said, “I made a clock.” But to a police officer who questioned Mohamed at the school said, “It looks like a movie bomb to me,” according to DMN.
Here’s Mohamed describing the police encounter for the Dallas Morning News.
The Washington Post pulled together tweets of support from those in the scientific community. After the teen’s story went viral with the hashtag, #IStandWithAhmed, his two older sisters set up a Twitter account. He quickly thanked his supporters.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) September 16, 2015
Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Mohamed was targeted because of his name.
“I think this wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn’t Ahmed Mohamed,” Salem told WFAA, a Dallas-Fort Worth television station. “He is an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers.”
In a letter to parents in the Irving Independent School District, MacArthur High School principal Daniel Cummings said that while “we do not have any threats to our school community” — bolding his — parents should talk with their children about the student code of conduct.
Our school is cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation, and we are handling the situation in accordance with the Irving ISD Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws. Please rest assured that we will always take necessary steps to keep our school as safe as possible.
I recommend using this opportunity to talk with your child about the Student Code of Conduct and specifically not bringing items to school that are prohibited. Also, this is a good time to remind your child how important it is to immediately report any suspicious items and/or suspicious behavior they observe to any school employee so we can address it right away. We will always take necessary precautions to protect our students.
Here’s the full letter from Cummings:
Technology entrepreneur Anil Dash started collecting suggestions Tuesday to help connect Mohamed with fellow makers and how to make Irving a more inclusive community.