9-23-15 DOJ Letter on Ahmed Mohamed

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9-23-15 DOJ Letter on Ahmed Mohamed

Congress of the United States

Washington, DC 20515


September 22, 2015

The Honorable Loretta Lynch
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Lynch:

We write to ask you to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old student at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. As you may know, on September 15th, 2015, Ahmed was removed from his classroom to be interrogated by Irving police officers and the principal of MacArthur High School after proudly showing his teachers an electronic clock that he had constructed at home. Ahmed was interrogated for over an hour for what police later claimed was a "hoax bomb". Shortly afterwards, Ahmed was humiliatingly removed from his school in handcuffs and taken to a juvenile detention center where his fingerprints and mug shot were taken.

It is important to note that Ahmed was denied his civil rights on numerous occasions as he was consistently refused his right to speak with his father. Texas Family Code clearly states "a child may not be left unattended in a juvenile processing office and is entitled to be accompanied by the child's parent, guardian, or other custodian or by the child's attorney." (Section 52.025) Not only did the Irving Police Department deny Ahmed's right to have his father present during interrogations, both at MacArthur High School and the juvenile detention center, but they additionally refused to allow Ahmed's father to see his son at the juvenile detention center.

To compound these clear civil rights violations by the Irving Police Department, reports surrounding the incident clearly suggest that Ahmed Mohamed was systematically profiled based on his faith and ethnicity both by the Irving Police Department and MacArthur High School. This incident highlights an alarming trend in the profiling of Muslim Americans not only by law enforcement, but in our society as a whole.

We ask you, as our nation's chief law enforcement officer, to direct the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to investigate the civil rights violations that took place during the unjust arrest of Ahmed Mohamed. We appreciate your prompt attention to this important matter and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Michael M. Honda
Member of Congress

Keith Ellison
Member of Congress

Andre Carson
Member of Congress

Karen Bass
Member of Congress

Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress

Judy Chu
Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress

John Conyers, Jr.
Member of Congress

Jim McDermott
Member of Congress

Debbie Dingell
Member of Congress

Grace Meng
Member of Congress

Sam Farr
Member of Congress

Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress

Raul Grijalva
Member of Congress

Charles B. Rangel
Member of Congress

Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

Tim Ryan
Member of Congress

Sheila Jackson Lee
Member of Congress

Loretta Sanchez
Member of Congress

Barbara Lee
Member of Congress

Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
Member of Congress

John Lewis
Member of Congress

Chris Van Hollen
Member of Congress

Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress

Marc Veasey
Member of Congress

Frank Pallone, Jr.
Member of Congress

Donna F. Edwards
Member of Congress

Maxine Waters
Member of Congress

Bonnie Watson Coleman
Member of Congress

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).