DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A judge has dismissed — this time, with prejudice — a lawsuit filed by the father of a Muslim boy arrested after taking a homemade clock to his school.
The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay of Dallas precludes refiling of a lawsuit by the family of Ahmed Mohamed.
Lindsay also ordered Mohamed’s family to bear all of the costs of their lawsuit.
The family had complained that the Irving, Texas, school district discriminated against the boy, then 14, in 2015 because of his race and religion.
Mohamed had brought to school a homemade clock that officials thought was a hoax bomb.
Ahmed got a personal invitation from Obama for “Astronomy Night.” The two met and chatted briefly during that event.
“I was scared because I’ve heard what happened recently with, like, people with guns going to my local mosque,” Ahmed said at the time. “It’s scary because people with guns and, I mean, they have the right to do that but it’s scary because I’m afraid, you know.”
In November 2015, Mohamed’s attorneys sent letters to both the City of Irving and Irving ISD, demanding $10 million and $5 million respectively, for the way the incident was handled earlier in the year. They claimed then-14-year-old Ahmed has suffered severe damages as a result of his interrogation and arrest at the school. They also pointed the finger at Irving’s Police Chief and Mayor for the way they portrayed Ahmed to the media once the story gained international interest.
“The entire public apparatus from two different governmental units made so many conscious, deliberate decisions to ignore somebody’s rights,” Ahmed’s attorney, Kelly Hollingsworth, told CBS11 at the time.
Hollingsworth claimed both the school district and the police department violated Ahmed’s rights, which led to a chain of events that ultimately forced the family to move out of the country to Doha, Qatar.
Hollingsworth said threats that drove them overseas and flooded into their Plainview law offices.
“They’re saying because it’s un-American, we’re fighting our own country,” Hollingsworth said. “We’re fighting the government of our own country, on behalf of, quote, unquote, these foreigners.”
Several hardships were spelled out in the nine-page letter to the school district and ten-page letter to the city, which stated, “Ahmed’s reputation in the global community is permanently scarred.” Among the damages his attorney’s claim include: Ahmed’s face being super-imposed onto a famous image of Osama bin Laden, Ahmed being portrayed as a clock boy on a Halloween costume website, and Ahmed’s address being tweeted out, which forced his family to leave their home.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)