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Liquor board rejects DC9 reopening

By Mary Pat Flaherty

The owners of District club DC9 lost a bid Wednesday to reopen after members of the District's Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration unanimously voted to keep it shuttered in the wake of an October incident in which five club employees were accused of beating a man who died outside the popular nightspot.

District prosecutors dropped charges against the five employees on Nov. 5, saying evidence available at that point did not support the case.

The employees have said they are innocent.

DC9 is on Ninth Street near U Street in Northwest.

Another hearing on the club's reopening is set for Dec. 1, said alcohol board spokeswoman Cynthia Simms.

Simms said the board voted to keep the club closed after expressing concern that results from the medical examiner's office are pending in the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, 27, of Silver Spring. Police said the employees chased Mohammed after he threw a brick through the club window after being denied admission.

The liquor control board also had asked DC9 owners to submit an enhanced security plan and staff training program, Simms said. The records were presented Wednesday at the hearing but board members had not had time to review them which also contributed to the vote, Simms said.

Prosecutors dropped charges in November against the five men days before they were scheduled to appear in court for aggravated assault. Prosecutors would have had to convince a judge that the evidence was strong enough to move forward.

Dropping the charges enabled authorities to continue their investigation and preserved their option to refile charges.

The death and investigation has prompted intense responses both from supporters of the DC9 employees and from family and friends of Mohammed.

By Mary Pat Flaherty  | November 17, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
Categories:  Cathy L. Lanier, Mary Pat Flaherty, The District, Updates  
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Comments

NO JUSTICE! NO BOOZE!

Posted by: FutureJumps | November 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Then DC9 should have it's rent reimbursed by the city. This is an arbitrary ruling based on sentiment from a very vocal small faction. I will not be sending anyone to any other establishment during the holidays or until this license is restored. That a government entity would arbitrarily choose to impact people's livelihoods is simply too much. This city will lose revenues from all of us who stand behind the premise of innocent until proven guilty. If charges have not yet been refiled, then there is no reason the club should not be able to operate. Shame on you DC government for allowing this. What a horrible business climate and what a horrible city to have to work in to support oneself. No wonder you have a disproportionate tax base and welfare ghettos segregating your city not just by race, but by class. I will tell everyone I know to stop patronizing even your highly touted restaurants in favor of Bethesda and NoVa. I used to be a fan of DC-where my grandparents and dad grew up. Now I am ashamed.

Posted by: stopthemadness | November 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Then DC9 should have it's rent reimbursed by the city. This is an arbitrary ruling based on sentiment from a very vocal small faction. I will not be sending anyone to any other establishment during the holidays or until this license is restored. That a government entity would arbitrarily choose to impact people's livelihoods is simply too much. This city will lose revenues from all of us who stand behind the premise of innocent until proven guilty. If charges have not yet been refiled, then there is no reason the club should not be able to operate. Shame on you DC government for allowing this. What a horrible business climate and what a horrible city to have to work in to support oneself. No wonder you have a disproportionate tax base and welfare ghettos segregating your city not just by race, but by class. I will tell everyone I know to stop patronizing even your highly touted restaurants in favor of Bethesda and NoVa. I used to be a fan of DC-where my grandparents and dad grew up. Now I am ashamed.

Posted by: stopthemadness | November 17, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Stopthemadness--The committee's decision seems far from arbitrary given that there is a real possibility that the case against the owner and employees will be re-filed. Furthermore, the fact that an owner was involved in this fiasco goes to whether or not the business even deserves a license. The fact is that a young man died and that employees and an owner beat and kicked him immediately prior to his death. That should give anyone pause when making a determination about the establishments license. You should be ashamed of yourself for your general lack of consideration for the dead man and his family, the outlandish acts of the owners and employees, and the fact that you decided that race/class issues needed to be injected into your argument. Enjoy Bethesda and NoVa but I guarantee the liquor commissions in those areas would have approved the application to re-open under these circumstances.

Posted by: truepatriot76 | November 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

agree with true patriot. stopthemadness, stay in the suburbs where you belong.

-by someone whose parents did not flee the city

Posted by: johng1 | November 17, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Truepatriot - you are wrong in stating that the fact is a ma was beaten to deatg by the 5 employees. As of right now the official facts which are taken from the dismal filing from the MPD) which states that after having "interviewed many witnesses, reviewed autopsy photographs and photographs of the scene, examined physical evidence, initiated multiple forensic analyses, and ... utilized other investigative tools to gather evidence ... there is an insufficient basis to sustain the charge of aggravated assault to Mr. Mohammed."

Both the accused and the victims family and friends deserve better than simmple assumptions from people based on emotion. Part of the whole problem with this case is that Chief Lanier made comments asserting the guilt of these 5 before an investigation was completed, Jim Graham made similiar comments, and the Washington Post and TBD printed a photograph showing blood on 9th street that was not from this incident (both later published retractions).

As of right not the official MPD statement is that these men have all all charges dropped without predjudice. When the Medical Examiners report is release charges could be refiled but based on the preliminary report there were no physical signs of trauma on the victim consistant with a violent beating.

Since the two afformentioned reports are some of the only official released statements and neither assert guilt by any of the accussed how can you be sure that they are. Having your own opinions is fine, but opinions are not fact and should not be considered as such.

For the sake of all sides involved perhaps you should check the facts before you assert your own opinions as fact.

Posted by: MM110 | November 17, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

DC9 is not going to be reimbursed by DC taxpayers, because the DC Government has no money of its own, the money belongs to the taxpayers. All businesses in DC or anywhere for that matter need to realize (opening a business is a privilege not a right). I am personally against any club being allowed to operate in this city (in which their workers feel they have the right to run out and beat a human being in the street). You do not and will never have that right in DC if you lose your business so be it. You can always reopen in Virginia or Maryland, I will be at any hearing testifying that you should not be allowed to reopen period, and also the murder charges need to be refilled post haste. This was outrageous, you should have called the police if someone knocked out your windows this is not the Wild Wild West and DC9 workers or any other persons in DC are not going to be allowed to operate with impunity.

Posted by: MadasH | November 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This seems grossly unfair, since there was no violence inside the club, the instigator of the violence was someone who was DENIED entrance to the club, there are no allegations that alcohol was illegally served, and the prosecutor has withdrawn charges.

If, after the ME's findings, prosecutors re-file charges, then the alcohol board can decide to shut the bar. Until then, this is destroying someone's business with absolutely no justification.

Posted by: Meridian1 | November 17, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The DC9 location was the first integrated establishment of its kind in the District of Columbia; it battled racism many decades ago. It has also been one of the best live-music venues in DC, from rock to hip-hop to electronica. Without excusing any actions in the recent tragedy, I can unequivocally state that this railroading of an historic music venue (based on the alleged criminal acts of one or more rogue individuals) will, years from now, be viewed as injudicious, premature, possibly illegal and definitely unfortunate.

Posted by: Dave115 | November 17, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the DC9 owner's literally got away with murder. A reckless, unconscionable, unjustifiable act. I'm disappointed but not shocked by the swarm of supporters for the white owners.

Those who identify with him -for whatever reason- blame the victim and try to rationalize this brutality away. Give me a break- on Judgment Day, these killers will have to answer for this savagery.

In a civilized society, you do not murder someone because they break a window. You call the police and have them arrested.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the DC9 owner's literally got away with murder. A reckless, unconscionable, unjustifiable act. I'm disappointed but not shocked by the swarm of supporters for the white owners.

Those who identify with him -for whatever reason- blame the victim and try to rationalize this brutality away. Give me a break- on Judgment Day, these killers will have to answer for this savagery.

In a civilized society, you do not murder someone because they break a window. You call the police and have them arrested.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Let 5 black men stomp a white kid to death...

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | November 17, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Let 5 black men stomp a white kid to death...

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | November 17, 2010 5:12 PM
--------

Exactly- and they will get charged, summarily tried, and the electric chair.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

true patriot: were you a witness to the incident? I feel that you should be ashamed of yourself for stating your opinion as fact. If every muder trial had 12 of you on a jury you'd just condemn them all wouldn't you. I realize a man died, i also realize that this man may have also peeved anyone else on that street off as well. It's dark, a witness sees 4-5 men running, they look over when the men get to their destination and see another man on the ground-my question: If this was a relative of the victim (as claimed) why didn't he do anything? Could it be that the family and witness smells a claim in civil court if it's the bar thats blamed and not someone else on the street? Again: Were YOU there?
And johng1: My parents never fled the city, they lived at 7th and Madison, a bit different from your cushy little upper northwest yup forest my dear. I know you probably consider yourself a city kid, but frankly-NOT even. Now go call Fenty and complain that your leaves have not been picked up yet.

Posted by: stopthemadness | November 17, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

mm14: You say the owner "literally got away with murder."

What do you know that the medical examiner does not? The ME's office said it could not find injuries compatible with a beating. Were you there? Do you have a degree in forensic medicine? Did you conduct your own autopsy? Or are you just an idiot with a big mouth and a computer?

Posted by: Meridian1 | November 17, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

mm14: You say the owner "literally got away with murder."

What do you know that the medical examiner does not? The ME's office said it could not find injuries compatible with a beating. Were you there? Do you have a degree in forensic medicine? Did you conduct your own autopsy? Or are you just an idiot with a big mouth and a computer?

Posted by: Meridian1 | November 17, 2010 5:43 PM

------

Merdian1: sympathizer, enabler. Continue with your smokescreens. There are witnesses who saw the murder. You can continue to pretend there was no murder. A man was beaten to death. I suppose you want us to believe he beat himself to death.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

mm14, you're upset hat 5 black men might be convicted without trial for a crime, so you're advocating that 5 be convicted without a trial.

There's a logical inconsistency to you're argument.

Posted by: shadow27 | November 17, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

mm14, you're upset hat 5 black men might be convicted without trial for a crime, so you're advocating that 5 be convicted without a trial.

There's a logical inconsistency to you're argument.

Posted by: shadow27 | November 17, 2010 5:55 PM
----

What an inept, sophomoric claim. If you can read, you would see that I stated, in that hypothetical, that they would be "summarily tried". You are literate, aren't you?

I'm not upset, just bringing sunshine to your type's hypocrisy and to the tragic injustice in this situation.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, let me correct my statement. Your upset that 5 hypothetical black men in a similar situation would be summarily tried, so you're advocating that 5 actual men be summarily tried?

Saying you're pointing out hypocrisy completely overlooks that the Chief of Police, an elected DC rep, and most of the local community have already pronounced theses men guilty, absent investigation, trial and evidence.

Seems that these 5 men are being given the same treatment as your hypothetical 5 black men.

Posted by: shadow27 | November 17, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

OK, let me correct my statement. Your upset that 5 hypothetical black men in a similar situation would be summarily tried, so you're advocating that 5 actual men be summarily tried?

Saying you're pointing out hypocrisy completely overlooks that the Chief of Police, an elected DC rep, and most of the local community have already pronounced theses men guilty, absent investigation, trial and evidence.

Seems that these 5 men are being given the same treatment as your hypothetical 5 black men.

Posted by: shadow27 | November 17, 2010 6:13 PM
------

I don't have time to correct your sloppy thinking. There is no dispute they beat the man. There is no dispute the man is dead. What is now occurring is an attempt, by your supporters, to cover-up for your white brethren.

It is really just another illustration of a long line of travesties of "just us", there are many many examples of your weak thinking, spanning decades, centuries.

What you are really saying is that there are enough legal technicalities to let these killers go free, similar to the OJ case. What I am saying is that yes, the killers will go free. But no, they are not innocent. They are murderers. They know it. You know it. The world knows it.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe one or more of those employees beat that man to death. So, good riddance to DC9.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 17, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

After all that crap-what kind of woman would go with me to that club? Not one I'd bring to my Moms, anyway!!!!

Posted by: rlmayville | November 17, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I said it once and I'll say it again...

This was a case of Dumb meeting Dumber... (or would that be dumber meeting dumberer :)

Tragic yes, reprehensible that a man was killed, surely. No matter how it works out some are going to say that justice was not served.

Posted by: Baccuss | November 17, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Guilty until proven innocent.

Posted by: steve1231 | November 17, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Guilty until proven innocent.

Posted by: steve1231 | November 17, 2010 7:42 PM
------

About time you get a taste of your own medicine. Sucks, doesn't it?

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

One question for all you internet pundits. If someone threw a brick through the window of your house, how would you react? Personally, I would consider that an attack. When attacked, people react in 3 ways. Freeze. Flight. Flee. I tend to fight when attacked. I also believe in the right to self defense. A second question. How many of you have hung out on U Street late night? I can tell you that there are drunk and or high people that go around that area with the intent of causing trouble. You reap what you sow. I am not saying he deserved to die, but I have heard 3 or 4 different versions of the events of that night from people down there that night, and none of it meshes with the accounts in the media or from the police. I am sitting by my window right now. If a brick came through, I am picking up my bat or my gun and going outside. You have to protect yourself. The cops can't do it. They only show up after the fact to assign blame and fill out the paperwork.

Posted by: spamthis1 | November 17, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

If a brick came through, I am picking up my bat or my gun and going outside. You have to protect yourself. The cops can't do it. They only show up after the fact to assign blame and fill out the paperwork.

Posted by: spamthis1 | November 17, 2010 7:57 PM
--------

WAPO, track this nutcase's IP address. If he ever argues "self-defense", here's proof it was "pre-meditated". He's looking for an excuse to kill.

Posted by: mm14 | November 17, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

My own medicine? What in the world are you talking about? Who do you think I am?

Posted by: steve1231 | November 17, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

mm14: "There is no dispute they beat the man."

No, there is actually a huge dispute. There are multiple witnesses that say he wasn't beaten. The ME says you can't conclude from body that he was beaten. The EMT says it was a cardiac arrest. The police seem to have two stories, first that he was unconscious when they arrived on the scene, then that he wasn't and they talked to him.

So you can believe the side that says he was beaten. Or you can believe the side that says he wasn't. Or you could wait until the investigation is finished. Or you can just assume that he's black so that makes him innocent and his alleged assailents were white so that makes them guilty. (oh, but wait, some of them were black, but hey don't let that fact get in the way of your racist ideology that assumes white is always in the wrong and black is always in the right.)


Posted by: sallyquint | November 18, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Or you can just assume that he's black so that makes him innocent and his alleged assailents were white so that makes them guilty. (oh, but wait, some of them were black, but hey don't let that fact get in the way of your racist ideology that assumes white is always in the wrong and black is always in the right.)


Posted by: sallyquint | November 18, 2010 3:08 AM
---------------

Cluttered thought from a sloppy thinker. Don't project your race-baiting frustrations onto me. Unlike you, I call it fairly without regard to race. Note I stated that OJ was a murderer, though he was let go. Note I stated the white owner is a murderer, though he probably will go free.

Posted by: mm14 | November 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse


ABRA:

Members of the District's Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration You really did a good job by unanimously voted to keep it shuttered.

DC ATTORNY/DC PROSCUTORS:

It’s no wonder the charges are dropped awaiting further evidence. An evidence that can be erased with the stroke of the pen ($$$$$). Most crime committed against immigrants, refugees and minorities always need further evidence, a clear signal of bias judgment. The message is that next time immigrants, refugees and member of minorities becomes a victim of a heinous crime he/she need to make sure have a camera crew follow him/her’.

Evidence 1:

• There are two street cameras believed to have recorded the incident.
• First announced as the cameras were working and to be used as evidence.
• Later the families asked to see them but denied as evidence not to be viewed by public.

Evidence 2:

• There were two witnesses; their word was filed with the affidavit filed before the court. Both explained as there was beating by five DC 9 employees before police arrived.
• Once of the witness explained as he was crying for mercy “please! Please!” when the beating going on, that indicated Ali was conscious and normal before the beating.

Evidence 3:

• The first police officer arrived also did the CPR wrote on the filed affidavit that when he arrived Ali was unconscious and not breathing.
• The officer noted Ali’s face was swollen and also dried blood on Ali’s face.

Evidence 4:

• Alleged DC 9 employees were fired immediately and the co-owner was resigned.
• If they did nothing wrong that night why did the club fire them and the co-owner resigned?
• It is good to see if they did some internal meeting immediately that lead the employees were found guilty then the prim owner fired them and the co owner resigned; apparently the defense lawyer later advised them to twist the story to create the doubt. (This is a common scenario).

Evidence 5:

• DC Police Chief explained well what happened that night clearly from the best information she got on first hand. (This is not common for a chief police officer unless found substantial evidence.)
• She explained as there was brutal beating to death of Ali; she called it “Vigilant Justice”.
• DC Council Graham explained to the public/media during Ali’s vigil on October 20, that the police had enough evidence to charge the accused with murder charge. That police shall stand on the trial to explain the “enough evidence”.

Evidence 6:

Indipendent review of the photos or camera from Howard Hospital immidatly when his body was arrived/ pronounced dead. The doctors and nurses who did see the face and body.


And many more evidence are here coming as we going forward.

Posted by: dennis30 | November 18, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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