Three days after an Irving ninth-grader was detained for hours over a hand-wired clock that obviously wasn’t a bomb, a senior police detective wrote a prescient email.
“This,” detective Rodney Bergeron wrote to another officer, “is what happens when we screw something up.”
Irving police knew almost immediately that Ahmed Mohamed’s home project wasn’t a bomb, yet detained him as school officials accused him of a “lookalike weapon” banned by school rule.
Now, a lawyer has sent Irving city and school officials a demand for $15 million in damages, claiming the MacArthur High School student was detained and suspended unfairly and that city officials maliciously hinted at untold other wrongdoing.
No lawsuit has been filed, and any eventual claim might vary greatly. So far, attorneys have only sent a demand letter.
But for now, Irving officials can take their own detective’s word to heart: This is what happens when police screw something up.
Once police determined that the student’s clock was not a bomb or meant as a threat, they should have left classroom discipline to school officials.
The problem is not that or why police detained the student, but how he was handled afterward.