Author Archive for Rend Smith

D.C.’s Race Disparity in Marijuana Charges Is Getting Worse

This weekend, dozens of marijuana activists converged on the National Mall to celebrate 4/20 and push for the drug's legalization. If photos and videos are any indication, most of the attendees were white. As a black man, I find their efforts laudable and hearteningly altruistic. D.C.'s campaign against marijuana is racist. If it wasn't, District marijuana enforcement [...]

What a Previously Unreleased MPD Account Says About the Night Ali Ahmed Mohammed Died

On Oct. 16, 2010, the head of the Metropolitan Police Department's homicide branch sat down to document a 911 call. The request for service had come into the District's Office of Unified Communication via cellphone the day before, at around 2:30 a.m., and figured prominently in a high-stakes case, one for which the chief of police [...]

Ali Mohammed’s Family Will Sue DC9

Almost a year to the day of Ali Mohammed's death outside DC9 on 9th Street NW, his family will mark the anniversary of his passing with a multi-million dollar lawsuit, says a press release issued by the family's spokesperson. Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., it promises, Mohammed's family and supporters will gather outside DC9 to annouce [...]

Penthouses, Peace Prizes and Pot?

When you imagine the kind of person who gets busted for pot distribution, you don't imagine Bobby Muller. The internationally respected  peace advocate—who sports a shock of white hair and lives in a Ritz-Carlton penthouse—has been elbow-to-elbow with Washington pols. The wheelchair-bound former marine also founded Vietnam Veterans of America and helped start the [...]

Vietnam Veterans of America Founder’s Home Searched For Pot

The founder of Vietnam Veterans of America has had his Ritz-Carlton dwelling tossed by cops looking for evidence of pot distribution after he allegedly sought to mail a package of marijuana at FedEx, according to recently filed police documents.
In papers filed this month in D.C. Superior Court, police say their search of the 23rd Street [...]

Myopic Twits: Older, Blinder and Wise-Asser

Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy's bosses may have forced him to go on Twitter–with mixed results–but rest assured that Milloy has not dropped his cranky-uncle persona just because he's taken the paper's mandatory social-media class.
To wit: Last week marked the first anniversary of the meanest, most polarizing, and most irresistible political label in recent D.C. [...]

Man Sentenced for Adams Morgan Cyclist Bashing

Bicycle use, quite famously, has exploded in the District over the past decade. And it's equally well known that the force of that blast has caused some political divisions.
But not all of the bike brawling has been of the electoral variety: In May, after a Camaro accidentally rammed a bike in the 1800 block [...]

DC9 Death Case: Drug Rumor Finally Debunked

Almost a year later, there are still lingering questions about the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed outside the DC9 nightclub.
One of the most prominent among them: That the young Ethiopian was in a drug-fueled rage on the October night when he allegedly chucked a brick at the club's window and subsequently ended [...]

Cops Don’t Think D.C. Real Housewife Was Really Kidnapped

D.C.'s famously infamous "power couple," Michaele and Tareq Salahi, are at the center of media attention again, this time for a more chilling reason than being obnoxious. Tareq Salahi is claiming his wife, a former Real Housewives of D.C. co-star, might be in danger, since he hasn't seen her since Tuesday. But according [...]

D.C.’s 9/11 Anniversary: 522 Arrests, No Terrorists

The pop and crackle and confusion of D.C. police radio chatter this weekend made it apparent that local badges, like most other law enforcement, were doggedly chasing the terrible specter of terrorism because of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. In the wake of a "credible but unconfirmed" warning about al Qaeda detonating car bombs in [...]

Metro Tracks Down Pushy Bus Driver

Metro officials say they've found the Metrobus driver filmed unceremoniously heaving a passenger from his ride. Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel says Metro isn't releasing the allegedly grumpy driver's name, and that there's no word on criminal charges against him. "At this point, this is an administrative process," he says.
Video of the incident surfaced [...]

Cornell Jones Fights Back Against D.C.

Being accused of being an HIV/AIDS profiteer, of sorts, would make some flinch. But Cornell Jones has struck back. You think he stole $300,000 from the city? Well, now he wants $2 million from it.
Last week, the District filed a civil suit accusing Jones, a legendary D.C. gangster who "went straight" and now runs Miracle Hands Inc.—a [...]

Metro Wants to Find This Pushy Driver

A Metrobus driver is in trouble for getting pushy—literally.
Video of a hulky driver shoving a not-so-hulky, maybe even scrawny, rider off a bus surfaced over the holiday weekend, and has WMATA hunting the offending employee. They weren't able to immediately identify the driver from the video, but Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel told NBC [...]

Norton Wants MLK Memorial Do-Over

One of D.C.'s most beloved politicians has become one of an increasing number of Martin Luther King Jr. memorial faultfinders. On Friday, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton tweeted that she wants to see the memorial changed. "Heed outcry on redo of King's words on Memorial. Distorts man, not just words," Norton typed. The [...]

MLK Memorial Looks Kind of Cocky? Maybe It Should

You might have noticed the bit of discord regarding Martin Luther King's memorial. Renowned author Maya Angelou has pointed out that an inscription on the memorial makes King seem arrogant. Others have said the crossed arms and glower of the enormous likeness makes him seem the same. "He had no arrogance at all," Angelou complained to [...]