Police in Dallas are reviewing how officers responded to a 14-year-old Muslim boy who brought a home-made clock to school that was mistaken for a possible bomb.
Irving police chief Larry Boyd said officers were justified in questioning and handcuffing Ahmed Mohamed at MacArthur High School on Monday, given the limited information they had, but he is reviewing the department’s response.
“I had significant feedback on this, some of which you wouldn’t be able to print,” he said.
“It’s clear to me that no matter what we did, there would be those who agreed with it and those who wouldn’t.”
Ahmed said he brought the clock to school to show a teacher. The device featured a circuit board, power supply and other items within a carrying case.
Officials said he was arrested after another teacher saw it and became concerned. Ahmed was not charged with having a hoax bomb, but he was suspended from school.
A petition organised by the group Progress Texas was submitted to the Irving school district on Friday asking for the reversal of Ahmed’s suspension and an apology.
The boy’s family says he will enrol at another school.
One of the largest Muslim groups in Texas has said it does not fault the way police and school officials handled the matter.
Instead, Khalid Hamideh of the Islamic Association of North Texas blamed political leaders for espousing inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and creating a “climate of fear”.
News of the arrest sparked an outpouring of support for Ahmed, including from President Barack Obama.