The 30-day suspension the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board doled out to DC9 has officially expired. At 1 p.m. today, the venue will make a second bid to reopen. At a Nov. 17 hearing, the bar strove to have its suspension lifted early, but was rebuffed. “I don’t feel comfortable sending my wife there,” said board member Mital Gandhi.
DC9’s lawyer, Andrew Kline, has submitted new material to the board in hopes they will no longer consider the establishment an “imminent danger.” Likely, some of the new material will address how DC9 staff will approach citizen’s arrests if the business reopens, as a citizen’s arrest may have been what led to the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed.
As the city waits on an autopsy report, the circumstances of Mohammed’s death remains a mystery: A whirl of conflicting witness statements, changed and then dropped charges, and an ongoing investigation. What’s known is that five DC9 employees pursued Mohammed after he shattered a storefront widow, and that Mohammed is now dead.
Kline has insisted the men were within their rights when they chased Mohammed down, since under District code residents are allowed to detain those they see commit a criminal act like vandalism.
That line of reasoning didn’t sit well with the board, probably because the idea of club employees jumping over velvet ropes to mete out justice on District streets seems, at the very least, a little problematic. Chairman Charles Brodsky wanted to know if DC9 representatives had made it clear in their security manual that employees weren’t to bust people. They hadn’t.
If the matter is cleared up today, there’s a chance the board will permit DC9 to reopen. Since prosecutors have yet to draw up new criminal charges against the spot’s former employees, and there’s still no info regarding the cause and manner of Mohammed’s death, the decision makers could find it tough to justify keeping the place shuttered. That wouldn’t likely sit well with Mohammed’s family, friends, and supporters, though—who are still clamoring for some answers.