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Family Says Police Killed Teen; Cops Say Drugs Responsible
POSTED: 6:26 pm EDT May 26, 2004 UPDATED: 10:47 am EDT May 27, 2004
HIALEAH -- A teen, high on a tea made from a poisonous plant, died after being arrested Monday night, police said.
Osiel Santana, of Hialeah, reportedly made tea from Angel Trumpet, a hallucinogenic plant. Police said Santana (pictured, left) became disoriented and sat in the middle of the street. When officers were called to Santana's home, they said he resisted arrest.
Santana's family and a witness said police threw Santana to the ground and beat him. Police said that officers used force to restrain Santana but that he also injured himself by banging his head against the inside of the cruiser. Santana's sister, Yahima Gonzalez, said an officer jumped on her brother's head and she believes that's what killed him.
"The only thing I can say is that he's gone. I don't have him anymore. I hope justice is made because they finished him," she said.
Lee Marks, an attorney for the family, said that they want to know what happened after police picked Santana up, since "when he was put in the police car, he looked all right."
A medical examiner concluded Wednesday that Santana had not died from blunt trauma and likely died because of the drug.
"An examination by the medical has ruled out the cause of death as having anything to do anything with blunt injuries," said Hialeah Police Chief Rolando Bolanos.
Santana's family admits the teen was high on Angel Trumpet Tea.