DALLAS (CN) – A federal judge dismissed for the final time Tuesday a civil rights lawsuit brought by the family of a black Muslim teenager known as “clock boy” against a Dallas-area school district and suburb who had him arrested after he brought a homemade clock to his high school in 2015.
The lawsuit claimed Ahmed Mohamed’s civil rights were violated by the city of Irving, the Irving Independent School District, MacArthur High School principal Daniel Cummings and several others.
Mohamed was 14 years old when he was arrested after he built the clock using a circuit board and power supply that he wired into a digital display inside a metal pencil case and brought it to school to show a teacher. The defendants deemed the contraption a “hoax bomb” and suspended him. Police released Mohamed to his parents hours later.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay in Dallas ordered Mohamed take nothing from the defendants and dismissed the claims with prejudice, preventing the case from being refiled.
Lindsay first dismissed the 2016 lawsuit the following year, finding he could not “reasonably infer” any school employee intentionally discriminated against Mohamed.
However, the judge cited U.S. Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit precedent in allowing the Mohameds to refile the lawsuit in order to amend claims that were “factually deficient.”
Images of a bewildered Mohamed being led away by police in handcuffs went viral on the internet immediately after his arrest.
Then-President Barack Obama invited him to the White House, and Mohamed later accepted a scholarship offer to study in Qatar and leave Texas.
Police defended the arrest, saying at the time the device could be mistaken for something dangerous if it was left in a bathroom or car.
Mohamed’s family later demanded written apologies and a total of $15 million from the school district and city before suing.
Their lawsuit disputed police claims that Mohamed was “less than forthcoming” about the clock during a 90-minute interrogation without his parents.
“The officers pulled him forcefully out of his chair, yanked his arms up behind his back so far that his right hand touched the back of his neck, causing a lot of pain,” the complaint stated. “They placed Ahmed in handcuffs and marched him out of the front of the school, four officers grabbing onto him, two on each side holding his hands and his arms. They put him into the back of a police car. They took him to the police station and booked him as a criminal, with mug shots and fingerprinting – all still without his parents.”
Mohamed’s attorney, James Hudson with Hutchison Stoy in Fort Worth, did not immediately respond Wednesday to an email requesting comment.
City officials said that they are “extremely pleased” by the dismissal. They say it “supports the justifiable actions” taken by police.
“We remain committed to ensuring the safety of all Irving residents and schoolchildren,” Irving officials said in a written statement.Follow @davejourno
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