Police responded appropriately to Mohamed’s unusual case

Lucas Latterell, Varsity Writer

The Knight Errant previously published an opinions piece by Elizabeth Kupchella, in which she explained that she believed that the situation of Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas student who brought a homemade clock to school, was handled poorly by police and school administrators, and was an example of Islamophobia and racial profiling in the United States.

I have to say, that while I liked her writing, I definitely disagree with her opinion.

Now, I think that it’s important to highlight that Mohamed didn’t “build” a clock. What he actually did, as explained in a video by Thomas Talbot, who has over 15 years experience working with technology for USC and the Department of defence, was buy a standard alarm clock, take it out of its plastic case, and screw it into a suitcase. I think it’s also important to note that when Mohamed brought his clock to his first hour engineering class, he encountered no issues with the school. However, his engineering teacher told him not to bring the clock around the school, because understandably people might not have known what it was. In spite of his teacher’s instructions, Mohamed brought the clock to his English class and set off the clock’s alarm, at which point the principal became involved and the police were called. The police questioned Mohamed for an hour, where they said he was passive aggressive and didn’t cooperate when the police tried to figure out what was going on. At the end of questioning, Mohamed was arrested for making a fake bomb hoax, which is a misdemeanor in Texas, and was suspended for three days.

That’s it. Mohamed was soon allowed to return to his family and no charges were even filed against him, although they could have been. Now to me, it seems like the police acted responsibly and professionally, and handled the overall situation quite well. I don’t believe that this was an issue of racial profiling at all; I think any student regardless of race who had done what Mohamed did would have been treated the same way.

Now to me, it seems like the police acted responsibly and professionally, and handled the overall situation quite well.”

— Lucas Latterell

Saying other kids, like Taylor Wilson, aren’t treated the same is simply not true. Taylor Wilson did build a nuclear reactor at his house, and he did get lots of awards, but he worked openly and under constant supervision by professors and engineers. In fact, the “radioactive boy scout,” David Hahn from Michigan tried to build a nuclear reactor in secret, and he was arrested and investigated by the FBI. Both of these kids attempted to expand their learning and challenge themselves in private through these projects, while Mohamed screwed a clock into a suitcase that police said resembled a bomb, brought it to his school, and set off the alarm against the instruction of a teacher. To me this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the pursuit of knowledge and exploring science.

His sister was suspended for making bomb threats (which, she says she has nothing to do with––though I have a hard time believing that she would be suspended with no evidence), his dad has run for president of Sudan two times despite living near Dallas, and his sister also coached him through his entire interview with Marc Cuban regarding the incident. Despite all of this, the Mohameds have benefitted from the incident, with Mohamed receiving thousands of dollars worth of free gifts from tech companies, receiving shoutouts and invites from dozens of influential figures such as Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, and the President, and receiving a scholarship to a private school in Qatar, where the family now lives. Despite bringing what police described as a hoax bomb to school, Mohammed has somehow been showered with gifts and praise and is now treated like a hero.