The controversial case of Ahmed Mohamed has sparked a national debate – and has even grabbed the attention of President Obama, who invited the 14-year-old student to the White House.
The officers who arrested Ahmed, after he brought a homemade clock to school, were criticized for their actions. But the police chief in Irving, Texas is defending the officers who were assigned to MacArthur High School.
Ahmed, a self-professed tinkerer, was hoping to impress his engineering teacher earlier this week by bringing to school a digital clock that he built himself.
The teacher apparently “expressed appreciation,” but advised Ahmed not to show the clock to other teachers.
According to the NY Times, “the device made a sound in an English class, prompting Ahmed to later show the source of the noise to that teacher.” The English teacher commented the clock “looked like a bomb.”
Officers “fairly quickly” determined that it wasn’t, but then while trying to determine why Ahmed brought it to school in the first place, they put the teen in handcuffs.
Mohamed’s parents told a local news station that their son – who had been suspended for three days– would no longer be attending MacArthur High.
Police were criticized after the episode and questioned over why an evacuation wasn’t called if they thought the clock might be a bomb. Many were also wondering why Ahmed was questioned without a parent present.
Chief Larry Boyd said, “The officers were not initially told that Ahmed had brought the clock to school to show to a teacher…. In the end, the officers made the best possible decisions based on the information that they had.”