On Monday, we told you about Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed New York City police officers killing an unarmed, nonviolent alleged illegal cigarette dealer named Eric Garner last month and Orta’s arrest over the weekend for firearms charges after cops stop-and-frisked him along with a teenage girl he was with. In case you had any doubt that was purely for revenge, the police union rep has since come out to further drag Orta’s name through the mud. On Sunday, he issued a release, calling Orta a “criminal” who “stands to benefit” by smearing the good name of police officers.
“The arrest of Ramsey Orta for criminal possession of a firearm only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition in that community,” he wrote. “It is criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers. Sadly, in the effort to keep neighborhoods like Tompkinsville safe, a tragedy occurred. But that doesn’t change the fact that police officers routinely risk their lives for the benefit of the community and that they have earned their support and understanding.”
On July 17, 22-year-old Ramsey Orta filmed Staten Island police officers tackling his friend Eric Garner to the ground , watching as officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped Garner’s neck in a chokehold. The New York City Medical Examiner ruled on Friday, August 1 that Garner’s death was a homicide, caused primarily by compression of his neck and chest, exacerbated by his prone position as well as asthma, obesity and heart disease.
As Garner’s death caused worldwide outrage, Orta told Time he faced increased harassment from the police. On Saturday night, he was arrested by plainclothes narcotics officers and charged with gun possession.
The New York Times reports that officers approached Orta and a 17-year-old girl on “a stretch of Central Avenue known for drug dealing,” after watching them leave a hotel they say is known for drug activity, and watched as he put an object in the girl’s waistband. They searched her and found a .25-caliber handgun. He’s being charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon; the teenager is also facing gun possession as well as marijuana possession charges.
Read more over at the Village Voice.