DC9, courtesy of rockcreek

When I think DC9, I don’t really think food. But they are upping their game, hiring former Palena and Hook chef Amber Bursik to helm their kitchen. Bursik will be making Southern-inspired bar food that is simple and honest.

She is redoing their menu, introducing some tasty sounding items like 24-hour marinated fried chicken and the Herbert Burger, which is topped with fried green tomato, bacon, and Tabasco aioli. I applaud the mission of  doing classic bar food well – I look forward to trying their new items.

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By now, I’m sure most of you have seen that the Medical Examiner released Ali Ahmed Mohammed’s cause of death following him throwing a brick into the window of Dc9. Not surprisingly in this case, which has been full of confusion and misinformation, the cause of death does not shed much light on what really happened.

Mohammed’s death was classified a homicide. He died of “Excited Delirium Associated With Arrhythmogenic Cardiac Anomalies, Alcohol Intoxication and Physical Exertion With Restraint” according to the Medical Examiner. Not being a coroner, I can’t really tell you exactly what this means, but my Internet research can hopefully give some context.

Excited delirium is a condition that is  normally caused by drug use that leads a person to act with “bizarre and/or aggressive behavior, shouting, paranoia, panic, violence toward others, unexpected physical strength, and hyperthermia.” It can lead to death.

Arrhythmogenic Cardiac Anomalies, as far as I can tell, means that Mohammed had heart complications related to an irregular heartbeat, which contributed to his death. The alcohol intoxication part is pretty self-evident, as is the physical restraint part.

So if his death was classified as a homicide, does that mean that the DC9 employees previously arrested will be charged with murder? Of course, the answer is unclear. The District Attorney’s office released a statement to the effect that they will not re-file charges at this time, but will continue their investigation.

Those with more legal expertise than me have indicated that the results of the toxicology report will matter greatly on any charges that are filed. There is a possibility of second degree murder or manslaughter, but it really remains unclear.

Lastly, will DC9 remain open? ABRA indicated that pending the results of the autopsy report, DC9 may be ordered to close again. I’m not sure if these results merit the bar re-closing, but ABRA did put that caveat in when they let DC9 open.

Very interesting post in the City Paper from Rend Smith about the OTHER guy, the same night Ali Ahmed Mohammed broke a window of DC9’s and died, who did the same thing – but survived. 21-year-old Georgio Tuccio, according to his lawyer, punched through a window after DC9 employees beat him up.  They stay they have witnesses to back up this claim. Can’t tell if this is a case of leveraging someone else’s pain to clear oneself of a crime, or if two of these incidents really happened in one night.

In related news, the Medical Examiner has determined Mohammed’s cause of death and will be releasing the information either today or Monday. Stay tuned, or follow me on Twitter for up to the minute news.

And, fun times, DC9 should be officially reopening tonight.

DC9 is allowed to reopen this Wednesday and has confirmed on their website that they will be open. While there are no live bands scheduled as of yet, their website lists a number of DJ nights and dance parties for the next couple weeks. It will be interesting to see the neighborhood’s response to the reopening; I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a protest from the Ethiopian community.

If you stop by on Wednesday, let me know how it goes. I imagine it will be pretty somber and not very raucous.

DC9, courtesy of Kevin H (Flickr)

Following yesterday’s ABRA meeting, DC9 will be allowed to reopen its doors on December 15th, with a few conditions. They cannot employ any of the employees involved in the incident that lead to Ali Ahmed Mohammed’s death, not at DC9 nor any of Joe Englert’s businesses. They have submitted a security plan that includes 18 security cameras that ABRA found satisfactory.

Another nugget to come out of this meeting is that the medical examiner expects to release an autopsy no later than January 19th. Pending the results of the autopsy report, DC9 may be ordered to close again.

This decision is rather controversial, be sure to expect a lot of protesting outside of DC9 when it reopens, from the greater U Street’s large Ethiopian community.

Apologies for me not posting this when it happened, so it’s not news to many: but all charges have been dropped against the DC9 employees that were accused of aggravated assault in relation to the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed. This looks pretty bad for MPD, in my mind, they shouldn’t have charged anyone with anything until more details came out. Of course, MPD says this doesn’t mean that the (now former) employees won’t be charged again once the Medical Examiner report comes out.

Also, there were some rumors via their Facebook page that they would reopen this weekend: however, as I reported on DCist: it’s not so. They just did a bad job being clear on their page – they were promoting the opening of Red Palace on H Street NE (same owners).

DC9, courtesy of Kevin H (Flickr)

DC9 had a hearing yesterday to determine the status of its liquor license, which Cathy Lanier suspended after the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed outside of the bar. The long and short of it is: the liquor license will remain suspended until another hearing December 1st.

However a lot of interesting, and in fact weird, information came out of this hearing. First: none of the men involved in the case work at DC9 anymore (which seems a bit of a moot point: the bar hasn’t been open). Co-owner and manager Bill Spieler resigned, the rest were let go.

Second, the EMT call to Howard University Hospital was played during the hearing. You can hear the audio on TBD (link above). A male EMT says that he is bringing a 45-year-old male in cardiac arrest to the hospital after a bar fight. He also says the victim became unconscious after police arrived on the scene, contradicting an affidavit filed in court that states Mohammed was not responsive when the first officer arrived. But, as you probably know, Mohammed was 27, not 45 – so this call just seems to confuse things further.

What we still don’t know is Mohammed’s official cause of death. It’s been over two weeks since the incident, so we’ve got to wonder what’s taking so long. Though I must say, I’m not sure how long it normally takes to get a report from the medical examiner in regards to someone’s cause of death. UPDATE: I’ve heard from a couple of sources (including a friend who interns at an ME office) that toxicology reports take a few weeks to process. Silly crime procedurals coloring our perception of how things get done in law enforcement.