Supporters of Ali Ahmed Mohammed March, Rally at City Hall


City Hall

After charges were dropped against the five DC9 employees who may have been involved with Ali Ahmed Mohammed’s death, TBD is reporting that over 100 of his family and friends marched to City Hall today, demanding justice:

The amount of anger and frustration among the protesters was at times overwhelming. After addressing the vocal crowd in Amharic, his native language, Mohammed’s father, Ahmed Goltchu Mohammed, became too emotional and had to be escorted away by the family’s attorney. The protest then continued for at least another hour. “We have to work with the system,” the elder Mohammed urged the crowd to remember…

At issue for those gathered was a deep concern that the case might have been dismissed for good. In a statement released Friday accompanying the court filing explaining why the charges had been dropped, however, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen made plain that the investigation is ongoing, and that charges could be re-filed after an autopsy report and any additional evidence becomes available…

While the crowd didn’t hear from any of the three politicians they had hoped to engage (Mayor Adrian Fenty, Mayor-elect Vince Gray or Council member Jim Graham), Mayor-for-life Marion Barry and Council Chairman-elect Kwame Brown addressed Mohammed’s supporters:

Politicians inside the Wilson Building appeared to be unprepared to deal with the protest. Ward 8 D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry did come out to address the crowd briefly, and Council Chairman-elect Kwame Brown was more or less forced to come to the megaphone as he was on his way out of the building. A dozen or so protesters had just entered city hall when they ran into Brown and convinced him to speak to the crowd.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, when someone loses their life, that’s a problem,” Brown said, after telling the crowd that he had been following the situation. “I call for a full investigation.”

  • DCentric Fan

    As a DCitizen, I must admit to having been caught in the initial emotional response to this. Out the blocks it seemed to be the beating of a young man, with witnesses. Then the witnesses both character and eye spoke up on DC9′s behalf and I had to step back and reevaluate.

    One side of me, was going all Mel Gibson “Conspiracy Theory” and the other side was siding with the sensibility of folks with “something” to lose & of a recounted kind nature (according to patrons). At this point with an inconclusive cause of death, I genuinely want to know what happened. I will choose Vindication/Vilification later of the suspects, but I do feel this should have been handled more publicly and proactively.

    Another puzzler in this was, some media reports said there were two suspects (which could explain the differing stories). This could explain why some witnesses say a man was chased and beaten, and others say a man was chased and detained until the cops arrived. Seems like there is too much interest and too many accounts for the facts to be so unclear.

  • Anonymous

    You are right; there were two window-related incidents that night. A 21-year old from New York broke a different window, earlier in the evening. I learned about that because TBD reported that the widely-distributed photograph of blood on the crosswalk was misleading, because the incident with Mohammed happened in a different spot– so the blood isn’t his, it’s probably the New Yorker’s (and I just updated DCentric with a blurb about this). I genuinely want to know what happened, too…which makes me feel terrible for the families of all involved, when I consider how they must feel.