Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne Speaks Out On Ahmed Mohamed Clock Case | KERA News

Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne Speaks Out On Ahmed Mohamed Clock Case

Sep 23, 2015

Five stories that have North Texas talking: more on the Ahmed Mohamed case; the latest on a Texas secession effort; Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood celebrate a birthday; and more.

Days after Ahmed Mohamed was arrested at MacArthur High School for making a clock mistaken for a bomb, the Irving mayor is speaking out. Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne defended the police and school district in an interview with Glenn Beck, the conservative talk show host. Van Duyne has generated national attention in recent months for her comments on Muslims.

“If your child was in that school and you saw something like this come in, you would want to make sure it is our priority to make our children safe in school, period,” Van Duyne told Beck. “I now have our police chief, who is a wonderful, wonderful man, a family man, a churchgoing man, and I now have our police officers as well as a number of teachers, school administrators, receiving death threats as a direct result of this. It is unfortunate, and it has got to stop.”

Van Duyne also criticized President Barack Obama for sending out a tweet praising Ahmed.

“I was really shocked when I saw his tweet,” she said. “I was really surprised. It seems to be an underlying habit that he is going to second-guess police officers without any kind of information.” 

Ahmed’s family says they have withdrawn him from Irving ISD. (Revisit KERA's earlier coverage of the case.)

Van Duyne has accused mosque leaders of creating separate laws for Muslims. Earlier this year, she led an endorsement by Irving leaders of a state bill meant to forbid judges from using foreign laws in rulings. She claimed imams were "bypassing American courts" by offering mediation. Mosque leaders say Van Duyne was trying to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.

Here’s the Glenn Beck interview:

[KERA/Associated Press]

  • A group wants to put Texas secession on the ballot. The Texas Tribune reports: “Texas already seceded once — in 1861, by popular vote in a statewide election. But the Texas Nationalist Movement wants a repeat a century and a half later, and thinks the March GOP primary is the place to start. The Nederland-based Texas independence group is circulating a petition aimed at getting a non-binding vote onto the GOP primary ballot over whether ‘the state of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.’ Their goal? 75,000 signatures from registered voters by Dec. 1 — more than the 66,894 the Texas Secretary of State's office says the group needs to get the language on the ballot. Even if the Texas Nationalist Movement gets enough signatures, such a vote would be little more than symbolic. Academics agree that Texas cannot secede from the United States.” [Texas Tribune]

  • What have hospitals learned one year after the Ebola virus hit Dallas? Today, KERA launches a project that explores those lessons. First up: a look inside Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which initially misdiagnosed Thomas Eric Duncan, who died after contracting Ebola And catch up with some of the people most affected by Ebola. Explore the project here. And tune in on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. for a one-hour special, Surviving Ebola, on KERA 90.1 FM.
  • Country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood took a break from their Dallas concerts to celebrate her birthday at Six Flags Over Texas. The couple marked her 51st birthday by going on rides Monday at the amusement park in Arlington, including the Texas Giant roller coaster. A statement Tuesday from Six Flags Over Texas says Brooks took his band along for the birthday-surprise outing for his wife. Six Flags Over Texas is only open on weekends going into the fall, but accommodated Brooks and his group. Yearwood's birthday was Saturday but she's been busy performing with Brooks for a series of concerts at the American Airlines Center. The final concert was Tuesday night. [Associated Press]
  • KXT, our sister station that plays awesome music, has some exciting news for music fans. “KXT is teaming up with VuHaus — the new collaborative, nonprofit, digital music video service — to bring you incredible videos with new, local and legendary artists.” Check out the Dallas channel here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.