Defending his department’s decision to handcuff 14-year-old Texas high school freshman Ahmed Mohamed after the student’s homemade digital clock was mistaken for a “hoax bomb,” Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd today called it standard procedure during an investigation.
“We need to make sure we have the person completely in our control,” Boyd told reporters during a press conference.
However, the case is now officially closed and no charges will be filed against Ahmed, who first showed off his homemade clock to a teacher who replied that he better not show it to any other teachers.
What’s more, he’s received an invitation from President Barack Obama to come to the White House — and bring his clock:
Back in Texas, Police Chief Boyd told reporters that police were now confident the device was not an explosive meant to cause “alarm” but “a hoax bomb” and a “naïve accident.”
On Monday, police arrested the MacArthur High student for bringing a harmless homemade digital clock to school. A photo of the bright young tinkerer (wearing a NASA tee) handcuffed exploded across social media and #IStandWithAhmed.
Mohamed’s family says he had always displayed a healthy interest in electronics. His latest device was a slapdash creation from spare parts in his bedroom: A circuit board wired to a power supply, hooked to a digital display, fixed inside a plastic case bearing a hologram of a tiger. He brought it to school Monday to show his engineering teacher, whose stilted response, according to Mohamed, was that it was nice but not to show it to anyone. Later it beeped during English class, and when he showed that teacher what was making the noise she told him it looked like a bomb and confiscated it. By sixth period, the cops were on the scene. Upon seeing him, he claims one remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
That’s a loaded statement in Irving: Mayor Beth Van Duyne made national headlines this year for pushing so-called “anti-Sharia law” attacks on a Muslim religious panel and became a hero among those who believe Islam is engaged in an insidious conspiracy to take over the U.S. from within. Roughly one-fifth of the city’s 200,000 residents are Muslims, according to a recent report.
“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” Police spokesman James McLellan told the Dallas Morning News. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
As to what kind of broader explanation Mohamed could’ve offered beyond “it’s a clock” McLellan offered this: “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”
Admittedly, I’m no horologist, but I’m pretty sure it was built to be a clock.