The case of Ahmed Mohamed, the so-called "clock kid" who was arrested at school because one of his teachers thought his homemade clock resembled a bomb, has taken another twist: The feds are now investigating.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said this week that the Justice Department will examine whether Mohamed's civil rights were violated during the incident. Lynch made the announcement on Thursday at a dinner in a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC hosted by Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights organization.
Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim boy, was arrested and briefly detained in September after a teacher at his school in Irving, Texas reported that his clock looked like a bomb. Irving police interrogated Ahmed for almost an hour and a half and placed him in a juvenile detention center without allowing him to contact his parents. No charges were filed against him. Several members of Congress had asked Lynch to launch a civil rights probe into the case.
"We have opened an investigation into the case of the young man in Irving, Texas so we will see where that goes," Lynch said.
Since the arrest, Mohamed has demanded a written apology and $15 million in compensation from the city of Irving and its school district, stating that both parties disregarded his rights and damaged his family's reputation. Lawyers for the Mohamed family claim the incident was traumatic and damaged to their reputation.
Lynch made the announcement a day after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, which she has since said is being investigated as terrorism because of "indications that we do have of radicalization" by the attackers. Lynch said that there has been a "very disturbing rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric" in the US since the Paris shootings three weeks ago. Lynch reportedly described Mohamed's arrest as an "extreme case" of Islamophobia.
"There is also issue where our children are affected, such as anti-Muslim bullying in schools. We're active on that as well," Lynch said.
Ahmed's arrest spurred an outpouring of support from across the country, including an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the White House. Many tweeted out support under the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed.
Since the clock incident, Mohamed and his family relocated from Texas to Doha, Qatar, where Ahmed received a full scholarship to attend the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development.
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