Death in DC9 Case Ruled a Homicide

Above: The tragic death of a young man that sparked outrage
in the Ethiopian community has been ruled a homicide. (File)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Updated: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Washington, D.C. (Tadias) – The death of 27-year old Ethiopian immigrant Ali Ahmed Mohammed, who died in October after a physical confrontation with five men associated with DC9 nightclub, has been ruled a homicide by the city’s medical examiner’s office.

“The family wishes to commend those at the Medical Examiner’s office for their hard work and dedication in helping to uncover that Ali’s death was a homicide,” family attorney Billy Martin said in the statement. “The family is confident that law enforcement will continue its investigation into Ali’s tragic death and that the Medical Examiner’s report is a step toward justice for Ali. The Medical Examiner’s findings, however, also reminds us that Ali suffered a cruel and senseless death. Ali did not deserve to die for allegedly breaking a window. The family remains heartbroken and cannot have peace until those responsible for Ali’s death are brought to justice.”

The victim died of “excited delirium associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcohol intoxication and physical exertion with restraint manner,” the medical examiner’s office said – citing the manner of death as “homicide.” Per WaPo: “Although criminal charges in the case were dismissed because of the initial lack of autopsy findings, authorities said they would not be legally barred from refiling charges if new information warranted such a move. The autopsy finding of homicide appears to make a new criminal case likely.”

However, the U.S. attorney’s office issued the following press release saying the case is still under investigation: “The Medical Examiner has now completed an autopsy related to the unfortunate death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed. The Medical Examiner’s forensics examination has concluded that a variety of factors led to the death of Mr. Mohammed, and we intend to carefully study these conclusions as part of our legal analysis of this tragic incident. Our deliberate and comprehensive factual inquiry continues, and we again express our sincere appreciation to the family of Mr. Mohammed for their patience and understanding as we work to reach a just conclusion to our investigation.”

Ali, who was a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, came to the United States from Ethiopia in 1997. He graduated from Coolidge Senior High School in Washington, D.C. He died on the morning of Friday, October 15, 2010 after the five DC9 employees allegedly chased, then tackled and beat him. The incident happened after he was denied entrance to the bar around 2:30 a.m., and after he allegedly returned to throw a brick through the window. “In my opinion, you talk about a beating like this as a result of property damage, someone has lost his life in a savage beating in what appears to be vigilante justice, it’s ridiculous,” Washington, D.C’s police chief Cathy Lanier had said at the time.

District prosecutors had initially charged the men with second-degree murder – which were later reduced to charges of aggravated assault – but eventually dropped all charges noting insufficient evidence to support the case. “Dropping the charges enabled authorities to continue their investigation and preserved their option to refile charges,” according to The Washington Post. “The death and investigation has prompted intense responses both from supporters of the DC9 employees and from family and friends of Mohammed.”

The employees have said they are innocent.

Watch: Ali Ahmed’s Family Says Death Ruled Homicide

Family of Ali Ahmed Mohammed Says Death Ruled Homicide:

Photos: Images from public gatherings held by Ali’s family

Video: Reactions to the beating death of Ali A. Mohammed

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