The Creeping Police State
by Charles Shaw, Editor-in-Chief
February 1, 2005
Featuring: "In the Shadow of the Yellow Star"
by Poet-in-Residence Ronnie Pontiac
In May of 2004 in Chicago, the home of May Molina, a long time anti-police brutality and misconduct activist was raided by the Chicago Police. Although Molina had no history of involvement with drugs or drug dealing, the officers present claimed to have found 80 bags of heroin in her room and that of her son, Michael Ortiz. Both were taken into custody, and sometime within the next 28 hours Molina died. The coroners report claimed to have found bags of heroin lodged in her esophagus, and the presence of heroin in her system.
Three strange things stand out in this case. The first, as previously mentioned, was that Molina was an activist. People's Weekly reported, "[Molina] worked with Families of the Wrongfully Convicted and Comite Exijimos Justicia (the "We Demand Justice Committee"), which have for several years accused the Chicago police, particularly the homicide squad detectives at the Grand and Central police station on Chicago's northwest side, of framing Latino and other young people. Molina was dedicated to this cause partly because her own son, Salvador Ortiz, is serving a 47-year sentence for a murder she and the committee said he did not commit."
This is the same Illinois system that was so corrupt that former Governor George Ryan put a moratorium on the death penalty and commuted all the death sentences of those who were currently imprisoned on death row. A Federal investigation of this corruption under former Commissioner John Burge (while Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was Attorney General) is currently underway.
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