Prosecutors decide not to pursue charges in the death of a man outside the DC9 nightclub in the U Street Corridor. As Jackie Bensen reports, the man's family is determined to find justice.
No one will be charged in connection with the October death of a man near DC9 in the U Street Corridor.
Authorities have determined 27-year-old Ali Ahmed Mohammed, of Silver Spring, Md., died from health issues, not trauma to his body, NBC Washington's Pat Collins reported. After an extensive investigation, there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
D.C. police had said Mohammed was kicked and beaten about a block from the bar at about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 15. He was denied entry into DC9 after closing and allegedly broke the club's window. Some witnesses and police said the man was then chased down by five people who worked at the club.
"The Metropolitan Police Department made arrests based on those initial reports and all of the information that was available at the time," read a statement from D.C. police. "The Medical Examiner's Office ruled the case a homicide, and indicated that the restraint of Mr. Mohammed was one of the contributing factors in his death."
Other eyewitness accounts and medical and physical evidence did not support the story of a beating, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The investigation determined that Mohammed threw two bricks through the window of DC9, and five people from the club chased him and restrained him until police arrived.
"The original accounts by witnesses were not discovered to be mistaken or inaccurate until a more comprehensive review of the medical and forensic evidence was done by detectives and prosecutors," D.C. police said in the statement.
The Office of the Medical Examiner listed the cause of death as excited delirium associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcohol intoxication and physical exertion with restraint, according to Mohammed’s family. That means "an agitated, intoxicated patient was being restrained and had an arrhythmia (i.e. heart stops), resulting in death," doctors said.
The medical examiner's report also listed the death as a homicide, which means others were involved, but the involvement is not necessarily criminal. None of the evidence suggests criminal charges should be filed again, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A co-owner of DC9 and four employees each was initially charged with second-degree murder. Those charges were later reduced to aggravated assault before being dropped without prejudice while the investigation continued. Lawyers for the accused have maintained that the employees had merely been trying to make a citizens arrest.
The investigation is closed, but the case could still see a courtroom. Billy Martin, the attorney for Mohammed's family, said a civil suit could follow.
"While the family is disappointed with the news that these individuals will not be criminally prosecuted, the family is determined to continue their struggles to see that those individuals responsible for causing or contributing to the homicide of Ali Mohammed are brought to justice in a court of law, " he said in a statement released Thursday evening.