City Paper is not for tourists
Nunu Wako, the relative of a man who died after a confrontation with five men employed by nightclub DC9, isn’t buying the idea—spreading quietly since the incident—that blood found in the area later wasn’t her cousin’s. On Monday, at a protest against the fact that the U.S. Attorney’s office dropped charges against the men who pursued Ali Ahmed Mohammed after he smashed a brick through their establishment’s window, Wako held up a blown-up photograph of a blood-spattered crosswalk. The question “Whose blood is this?” appeared over the image. Wako took up the sign outside the Justice Department, and was cheered on by the crowd. Many of the protesters seemed to believe the blood was Mohammed’s.
But a recent TBD article says the dramatic gesture was rooted in an erroneous assumption: “Images published on TBD.com and on the Washington Post’s website that purported to show a bloody crosswalk in the vicinity of the DC9 nightclub do not depict the blood of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, according to authorities with knowledge of the case.”
Authorities told TBD they know this because the picture is of the wrong spot. Mohammed was caught by the five men while “north of U Street, while the images depict a bloody crosswalk on the south side of U Street…” The news outlet says the blood might belong to a man who put his fist through another DC9 window earlier in the night.
To Wako, that doesn’t make sense. “As if the violent loss of a life of Ali is not an insult against the fundamental idea of justice and the right of all citizens to live without fear within this city, our appointed and elected authorities are adding further insult to the victim, with blatant disregard for the effect upon Ali’s rights, the community, and his family in the mere speculation of the blood being splattered all over the street isn’t Ali’s,” she writes to City Desk in an e-mail.
“It is unfortunate that the authorities are not conducting proper investigation in this matter diligently without prejudice and biasness,” she adds.
For Wako, the recent twists in the case are hard to believe. The men who were thought to have beaten her family member to death were arrested—only to have prosecutors drop all charges against them within weeks. Now, a photograph of the crime scene that appeared in the Washington Post is being discounted. Things seem strange enough to Mohammed’s supporters, in fact, that at Monday’s protest, the chant “Stop the cover-up” rang out. If there aren’t answers soon, suspicions are likely to deepen.