Talk about a reversal of fortune: City liquor authorities ruled today that the five DC9 employees who were once charged with murder in the death of Ali Mohammed outside the club can get their jobs back.
At an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration hearing, the club also learned that it would no longer need to pay for a police detail to monitor the bar whenever it's open. That means ABRA has dropped two requirements it originally placed on DC9 when it allowed the bar to open up again: The board had ordered the club to agree not to allow the employees to return, and to maintain a detail.
Before the decision came down, city lawyer Louise Phillips recommended that DC9 be permitted to to rehire the employees once accused of murder, and that the police detail requirement be completely removed. This all but assured things would go the club's way. The move drew the anger of a friend of Mohammed, Aman Deka, 29: "That's not right," he said, as he walked from the hearing room.
DC9 will need to pay to have D.C. cops present from 11 p.m. until an hour after closing on weekdays, and 12 a.m. to an hour after closing on weekends. There could be more changes coming soon, too: The ABC Board has scheduled a Feb. 16 show-cause hearing regarding the conduct of DC9 on the night of Mohammed's death.
On Oct. 15, Mohammed, 27, threw at least one brick through a DC9 widow and was chased by club employees. Later, he would be pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital. A few weeks after Metropolitan Police Department officials declared the DC9 employees guilty of vigilanteism, charges against the men who pursued Mohammed were dropped.