On Monday, in Irving, Texas, fourteen-year-old student Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock to school to show to his teacher. He was brought out of the school in handcuffs by five police officers.
They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name—one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.
The bell rang at least twice, he said, while the officers searched his belongings and questioned his intentions. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, he said.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
At no point did Ahmed ever tell anyone it was a bomb - in fact, he told his teacher quite explicitly that it was a clock. There was no detonator or explosive device. There was only an LED display of the time.
And yet, the police are considering charging him. For what? For making a hoax bomb. Even though he never claimed it was a bomb. Even though he said it was a clock.
And if you think this would have happened to a white kid, just take a look at this article.
He’s vowed never to take an invention to school again.