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Evidence Mounting Against Police in Molina Murder

by Stephanie Weiner |
June 21, 2004
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(Fight Back! News/Staff)
Michael Ortiz speaking one day after being released from police custody where all drug charges were dropped. Also in photo: Ruth Peña & Aaron Patterson (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Chicago, IL - The need for an independent federal investigation into the death of May Molina - a Puerto Rican activist who died in police custody May 27 - is becoming more urgent. The son of Molina, Michael Ortiz, was arrested with his mother in the police raid. He was charged with drug possession and jailed.

On the day of May Molina’s death, police leaked to the press that 80 bags of heroin were found in their apartment. On June 16, Michael Ortiz was released by a judge who said none of the samples tested positive for any narcotics. Police now claim they mistook candle-making supplies for drugs.

Michael Ortiz spoke at a press conference, June 17, in front of the Belmont and Western police station where his mother died. He spoke about his anger and his commitment to getting justice. Later the family took him to his mother’s grave for the first time. Police refused to release him from custody for her funeral.

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