From a guy who actually knows about electronics (as opposed to 90% of the people commenting on this story–including me).
I don’t know what happened here. It’s entirely possible that he made the thing innocently enough, and then was coy about it once he realized the situation. I really doubt that he apologized profusely for scaring everybody and yet the cops still grilled him for hours. My guess is that by that point, he was being defiant, then the cops perceived a challenge to their authoritah and so became Tough Guys.
I don’t endorse the North or the South in the War Between the States (aka the Civil War). Likewise, I am allowed to say that both sides in this case were at fault.
But since you asked, here is why I was suspicious of this from the get-go:
==> The kid’s photo when he got arrested. When I was 14, if I were being walked out of school in handcuffs, I would be absolutely terrified. This not at all what my expression would have been:
==> Look at this thing. Of COURSE it looks like a bomb, and yes if you want to be more specific, it looks like a TV/movie bomb. That’s the point. If you wanted to alarm a bunch of people, you would bring in something that looked like what THEY would think a bomb looked like.
Last month, if you had asked 1000 Americans to draw a sketch of a clock, precisely 0 would look like the above. If instead you asked 1000 to draw a sketch of a homemade bomb, at least 100 would look something like that above.
Let me put it this way: If I owned a private airline in a Rothbardian world, and one of my passengers tried to take the above onto a plane, I would insist that it be checked, and I would tell the passenger that if he took it out in the airport so other people could see it, he could never fly my airline again (and I would share his identity with other owners so they could blackball him too). That would freak my customers out and ruin their experience.
OF COURSE you don’t take something like that into school. And after your engineering teacher tells you not to show it to anybody else, you unplug the thing so it doesn’t start beeping in English class.
==> I dunno, something just didn’t seem right to me when he was in front of a bunch of news cameras and said, “I wanted to show the teachers my talent.” Who talks like that besides Donald Trump? Is that how you would have talked in front of TV cameras at age 14? (This is where it’s relevant who his dad is. I’m not saying it was all a plan, and I didn’t know about his dad originally. I’m saying though that his demeanor seemed odd to me, for a nerdy kid who just wanted to be left alone and build his electronics.)
==> Last thing: In his press conference later, Ahmed said something like (not exact quote), “I wanted to impress my teacher, but she was afraid.” In that line, he’s referring to his English teacher. If I understand the chronology, that’s not really what happened. The thing started beeping in class, and the teacher told him to open it up so she could see what it was. If you just heard that part of his story, you would think the first teacher he showed was the one who ratted him out, and that’s not what happened. If he had unplugged the thing after his engineering teacher told him not to show anybody else, he would have been fine.
==> No I am NOT saying he should have been arrested. I don’t know what his intentions were. Kids do dumb things when they’re young. What I AM saying is that it was way too early for people to be accusing others of stupidity, racism, etc. in this situation when they didn’t know either.