City Desk

Months After a Tragedy, Restrictions on DC9 are Lifted

Last night, 9th Street NW nightclub DC9 held a fundraiser for Ethiopian charities from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Though the event wasn't advertised via the club's event calendar, fliers were distributed in the vicinity of the establishment. At a Jan. 19 Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration hearing, the liquor board urged the club to reach out to members of the local Ethiopian community in light of the death of Ethiopian-American Ali Ahmed Mohammed outside the club in October. The club had another hearing today, at which the board inquired about DC9's efforts to heal the rift that may have been caused by Mohammed's death.  DC9 owner Joe Englert mentioned that his "neighbors have been very nice," and that he has "an extensive partnership with several people in Little Ethiopia." He also mentioned DC9's fundraiser, and how it netted $2000 in pledges. Thirty people attended, Englert said.

At the end of the hearing, the board voted unanimously to end all restrictions previously imposed on DC9. But really, after the lifting of other restrictions in January, there was only one left. Previously, the establishment was not allowed to be open past 11 p.m. on certain nights without paying for an expensive police detail. After today, DC9 can operate the way it did pre-tragedy.

During the hearing, as he had in the past, board member Mike Silverstein suggested DC9 change its name: Remaining open under the same moniker could be seen as an affront to Little Ethiopia, he explained. Englert didn't seem keen on the idea, but said he was willing to do some work on the facade. "I'm glad to change the outside of the place," he said. "A different color. A different look."

Photo of Ali Ahmed Mohammed courtesy of Mohammed's family

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  • Rick Mangus

    If there ever was a case of shoving the shit under the rug, this is it!

  • Dre NYC

    If there was ever a person that will never see the truth when it is staring him in the face, it is Rick Magnus.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Dre NYC', then how did this man die, suicide or did he slip and fall on a banana peal, give me a break!

  • Blame the Media


    Why don't you go down to dc9 and meet the people you are talking about so freely? You would be shocked at who you would meet--educated, various races, gentle people--and extremely small of stature. These aren't the "bouncers" of your imagination. Why would you spend so much time besmirching people you don't know and about a case you know nothing about? And one of the funniest things about your rantings--is the crazy belief that a bar in d.c. would have some sort of mystical power over the judicial system. Rick, go to dc9 and introduce yourself to the people you condemn. I hope you are man enough to see the disappointed and hurt looks you would receive.

  • Ceasar

    Look at the Chandra Levy case. The prosecutors do not have any direct evidence against Ingmar Guandique. But for 10 years, they pursued him, got him convicted based on corroborative "evidence," and sent him for 60 years in prison.

    Now look at the Ali Mohammed case. The prosecutors have direct evidence both from the DC coroner office which rules the incident as "homicide" and from eye witnesses. But they do not want to press charges.

    Why? Because Chandra Levy is white, but Ali Mohammed is black and immigrant. This is pure racism and injustice.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Blame the Media', I have!

  • Robert

    Mangus: not suicide, and no banana peel, nor peal involved. He died because he had a heart condition, he was trashed, and he exerted himself while being lawfully restrained after he threw a brick through DC9's window. Do you have any evidence to the contrary? Do you believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus because someone once told you there were such things? Do you really have such a problem dealing in actual facts? You may wish to see someone about that. Just a thought.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Robert', do you think all politicians are honest? I beat you do!

  • Robert

    No, but they are hardly smart enough to pull off the grand conspiracies you imagine. You probably believe the moon landings were hoaxes perpetuated by politicians.

  • why some miss the point

    @Magnus: What makes you think that this is some sort of cover-up by the political machine. It was the politicians who were vilifying the 5 accused in the first place: Lanier and her "vigilante justice" statements before anything was known, Graham with his vigil night pandering and Barry out on the court house with enraged "civil rights" demonstration, leads me to believe that if it where up to politics there would be no problem bringing charges on the club.

    The fact is the evidence doesn't warrant prosecution and thus it isn't happening. Why do you ignore the fact that the "victim" had a violent outburst as a result of heavy intoxication and was lawfully restrained. His condition and his actions are the reason he is dead.

    So in a sense, it was a suicide.

    Is it sad that he is dead, sure.

    Does that warrant prosecuting five men who where with in their legal responsibility to hold a criminal accountable for his crimes by keeping him for the police? Nope.

    If they had just let him go the police would have asked why they didn't restrain if they could have.

    Why also do people tend to forget that if Ali had not had an intoxication induced heart attack he would be in jail for violently and maliciously throwing bricks though a large plate glass window while people where inside working?