City Desk

Protesters Gather for Ali Mohammed

On Friday, prosecutors announced they were dropping aggravated assault charges against DC9 nightclub co-owner Bill Spieler and former club employees Darryl Carter, Evan Preller, Reginald Phillips, and Arthur Zaloga. Today, on a chilly morning, the family, friends, and supporters of Ali Ahmed Mohammed gathered in force to protest that decision. The livid crowd, many of them seemingly from the Ethiopian community Mohammed belonged to, demanded answers and justice for the deceased 27-year-old, who was chased by Spieler, Carter, Phillips, Preller, and Zaloga after he smashed a brick through a DC9 window. Sometime later he was dead. Exactly why still isn't clear.

Chanting, the crowd marched to the U.S. Attorney's office, the Superior Court building, the Justice Department, and then the Wilson Building. The chants that rang out were numerous. They included "This is not a race thing. This is not a religious thing. This is a justice thing," as well as "Stop the cover up, we want justice," and "Ali was a healthy man."

One of the protesters, Mohammed's cousin, Nunu Wako, told reporters, "We will never rest until we get justice." Later on, Wako held up a sign that displayed a photograph of a blood-spattered crosswalk that was taken the day her relative died. "Whose blood is this?" the sign asked.

Originally, cops and prosecutors contended that the five DC9 men once scheduled to have a preliminary hearing today were guilty of murder. Cops said a witness told them the men punched and stomped Mohammed for vandalizing the club. The charges were eventually downgraded to aggravated assault, though, and have now been dropped all together.

That would seem to indicate the men are innocent, but the U.S. Attorney's office called Mohammed's death "tragic," and has implied that it will file the charges again if more evidence is available. Defense attorneys for the men, however, have suggested the dropping of charges is tantamount to exoneration.

One thing is for sure: Tensions around what may or may not have happened to Mohammed are unlikely to fade anytime soon.

Photo by Rend Smith

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • joan

    Ali Mohammed did get justice - vigilante justice!

  • Jon

    “Whose blood is this?” the sign asked.

    Maybe the dude who put his fist through the glass earlier that night. Or Ali's.. Dunno. I wasn't there. Nor was the guy carrying that sign.

  • ADD

    “Whose blood is this?” the sign asked.

    It is Ali's Blood. The first police officer arrived (ALSO did the CPR) dscribed on his affidavit "THERE WAS BLOOD ON ALI'S FACE AND ALI'S FACE WAS SWOLLEN".

    A sworn affidavit from Officer William Covington alleges that when police arrived on the scene early Friday morning, Mohammed was lying on the sidewalk, "unconscious and not breathing," and that an officer performed CPR on him until medics arrived.

    Police later interviewed two witnesses, one of whom reported watching the five defendants run after the victim and assault him. The witness "saw defendant Preller catch the victim and throw him to the ground." The same witness then "watched defendants Carter, Zaloga, Spieler and Phillips kick and stomp the victim on the head and the body as defendant Preller held him down," reads the formal complaint. The witness also claimed to have seen Spieler "kick Mr. Mohammed several times, then stop when the police approached and attempt to flag down the police."

  • Rick Mangus

    I hope the family and friends keep the heat-on and ask the Attorney General Holder for a complete investigation of this matter as a civil rights violation as well as murder charges. So what I like to know is why Elenor Holmes Norton has been silent on this matter!

  • Rick Mangus

    Another point were are the phony bastards from the
    so-called great ACLU!

  • esquire

    We demand compensation for the window he broke. To what address can we send the bill to his estate?

  • Rick Mangus

    'esquire', you are a fucking dumb ass!

  • BB

    Rick Mangus, it's nice to see that you've already made up your mind on who's innocent and who's guilty. I, for one, will let the justice system play itself out. Seems that these gentlemen may actually be innocent after all.

    Also, ever think the types that hang out on 9th and U at 2:30 on a Thursday might not be the most credible of witnesses? Just sayin....

  • dany

    to what adress can we send the bill to his estate? to your mothers adress

  • dany

    BB/brain washed baby/ listen there is two eye witnesses you like it or not

  • Rick Mangus

    'BB' the guy didn't slip on a bar of soap in the shower, remember the old say, "If it looks like a duck..."! Stop drinking the 'Kool Aid' guy!

  • HJ

    The blood wasn't his. if he was bleeding from being allegedy attacked, he would have to have gotten up and walked across the street to have dripped blood there. Do none of you think critically at all?

    Also, if this guy was "not a drinker" as everyone is saying...why was he trying to get into a bar at 2:30 (past closing time)?

    These witnesses were probably crackheads. Lots of crackheads hang out on that block.

  • Dennis

    "Justice has no color" what does that mean?

    Why is DC9 fired the employees?

    why did Micheal Vick charged 23 months for dogfighting?

    got confused

  • dany

    YES I THINK DC9 WITNESSES WERE CRACKHEADS AND FAGGS

  • DCAV8R

    When the cops got there, they noted he had 'dried blood' on his face. Obviously, as drunk as he was, he fell down earlier and smacked his head on the road. Being drunk and now suffering a concussion, he threw the brick through the window, the employees caught him, and the police waited too long to take him to the hospital. Rather simple case really. Let this be a lesson. Don't get drunk and fall down, and then throw bricks---. Glad that DC9 is back open and the employees have been cleared (so far). The proof will come out that they didn't beat him.

  • Justice

    It is not possible to incline justice to the favored by covering ups, manipulating the system, using money, using politicians, etc...If so it is not justice.

    A full investigation need to be done:

    1. There is at least one witness clearly saw the beating and identified who did what.
    2. There is the first arrived police officer who did the CPR.
    3. There is flush of blood on the street, his face covered with blood, and his face was swollen when police arrived.
    4. There should be a surveillance camera caught the incident.
    5. There are many witnesses coming going forward.
    6. What is taking so long for dc medical examination?
    7. Is the owner and the dc politician has some connection in some way with a possibility leading to cover up / delay of this case?
    8. Why the club fired the employees given they did noting wrong?

    Investigator:

    •Need to hire experience investigator.
    •Need to check all the processes taken since the first police officer arrival to dc medical examiner office, dc attorney office, and dc police.
    •Need money and coordinating with dc civil community associations

  • Rick Mangus

    'Justice', you are right experience outside people need to take over this investigation, because the one's who are doing it now coundn't find their ass if given a flashlight!

  • HJ

    None of you are lawyers, or cops, or medical examiners. If the ME says there is no evidence of a beating, that means there is no evidence of a beating. The ME's report is taking so long because they are waiting for the toxicology, which takes a while to be processed, sometimes over a month. They are trying to determine if he had drugs in his system and how much alcohol he had in his system as well. Perhaps there is something wrong with the witnesses testimony because they are citing "insufficient evidence".

  • Rick Mangus

    'HJ' a conclusive toxicology report takes no more than seven days, no more, no less! These clowns currently involved with this case an I mean ALL, would rule JFK's death a sucide!

  • hj

    Rick, you absolutely completely wrong. Google it, the information is out there. It takes much longer than 7 days. I'm not sure where you get your information, or if you just say whatever you want it to be.

  • Rick Mangus

    'hj', stop the BS line, you know you're wrong!

  • HJ

    lol. Taken from webmd:

    "Four to six weeks is pretty standard," Magnani says of the time line for forensic toxicology testing. Besides the time needed for painstaking analysis and confirmation, she says, there could be a backlog of tests that need to be done at a particular laboratory.

    The facts are on my side. Anyone with a decent brain or education would seek out information before just making rash statements with no real facts to back it up.

  • Rick Mangus

    'HJ' WEB MD that a great source, NOT! When Michael Jackson died I talk with a friend of mine who is a medical examinder for Cobb County, Ga. and I asked this very question for a story, he said that a seven day period is all that is needed for a tox. study. But I guess with the HIGH rate of incompetence in this town that should be a factor and as far as a back log, cut me some slack, please!

  • Justice

    Rick that's right. Whole process, barring glitches or lengthy tests for hard-to-detect drugs like neuromuscular blockers, could take just a couple of days if analysts were able to devote themselves exclusively to a well-preserved specimen.

  • Justice

    Some evidence gets rushed to the top of the list because of an upcoming court date or because it might shed light on an ongoing investigation.

  • hj

    You're both absolutely and categorically wrong, but obviously dedicated to not hearing the truth, so I won't waste my time. Only time will tell, not protests or inane comments on the city paper website.

  • HJ

    On second, thought, I am a full-on jerk and a creton and I am actually wrong about everything I have posted on these City Paper threads, thus far. Please ignore anything else that I write as I am a complete and utter fool. Time for my meds.
    Tah.

  • HJ

    BTW

    Does anyone know where I can score some crack?

  • Ethiopian

    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’.

    A sworn affidavit from Officer William Covington alleges that when police arrived on the scene early Friday morning, Mohammed was lying on the sidewalk, "unconscious and not breathing," and that an officer performed CPR on him until medics arrived.

    Police later interviewed two witnesses, one of whom reported watching the five defendants run after the victim and assault him. The witness "saw defendant Preller catch the victim and throw him to the ground." The same witness then "watched defendants Carter, Zaloga, Spieler and Phillips kick and stomp the victim on the head and the body as defendant Preller held him down," reads the formal complaint. The witness also claimed to have seen Spieler "kick Mr. Mohammed several times, then stop when the police approached and attempt to flag down the police."

    Officers reported having observed dried blood on Mohammed's face, and one officer observed swelling to his head.

    I hope this case does not end up being an abortion of the American justice system thereby negatively influencing how young people in immigrant communities perceive America as a whole. A fair, generous and God fearing nation like America cannot afford to be found cold hearted to those who seek shelter and warmth in it.

...