DC9 case: Timeline shows there was no delay in response, treatment
It's been three weeks since the D.C. medical examiner released its findings on the cause and manner of death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, the 27-year-old man who died Oct. 15 following an altercation with employees of U Street-area nightclub DC9. The death was ruled a homicide, though a very complicated one, and no charges have since been re-filed against any of the five men initially arrested in the case. Meanwhile, conspiracy theories about what really happened that night abound.
In the course of reporting on this story, I've heard them all, most too outlandish (or at the very least unsubstantiated) to publish. One of the most persistent rumors is that Mohammed was still alive, alert, and in police custody for some unusually long stretch of time before being transported to the hospital. Comments left on TBD and other news sites over the last several months spell out this common theme:
"For some reason this story seems to be about 10 percent told and nobody is asking how the hell MPD took 45 mins to get this guy to a hospital just a few blocks away...," wrote a commenter on TBD on Dec. 21.
Even as far back as Oct. 19, this idea had gained traction. "Seems to me, if the police were there in minutes, the blood would still be wet..... then again, he was in POLICE CUSTODY for 45 mins before he was taken to hospital," wrote DCAV8R on the Washington City Paper website.
This particular rumor can now be put to rest.
Police and fire department documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request show that Mohammed was reported to be unconscious within seven minutes of the incident's start, that paramedics arrived on the scene within three minutes of being dispatched, and that they found Mohammed was not breathing shortly thereafter. He was then transported to the hospital at 3:03 a.m., fewer than 30 minutes after the whole thing began.
These documents, commonly known as "event chronologies," also provide insight as to why an internal D.C. Fire and EMS phone call to Howard University Hospital that night described the patient as a "45-year-old male," even though Mohammed was much younger. Turns out, the person who made that call was a supervisor, and not a member of the ambulance crew that transported Mohammed. The chronology further shows that this supervisor likely never laid eyes on Mohammed before he was taken to the hospital. Fire department sources speculate he was merely making the call on behalf of his crew, who were busy driving and performing CPR on Mohammed at the time.
In an attempt to recreate a rough timeline of events, we've pasted excerpts of the event chronologies, along with a description and/or explanation of what those excerpts mean, below. TBD had assistance deciphering many of the internal codes used by police, fire, and EMS crews from D.C. police and fire department sources.
This first section shows that the event chronology was created at 2:34 a.m., following a 911 call placed by an individual whose name and phone number is being withheld by the D.C. government. Notations on the call show the caller (or complainant) "is holding a male" in reference to a destruction of property complaint, and that the "subject is violant [sic]."
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