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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Ramsey Orta, man who filmed Eric Garner’s arrest, released from prison

The man who videotaped the police chokehold death of Eric Garner has been released from prison.

Ramsey Orta was sentenced to four years in 2016 for possession of a weapon as well as drug charges. He was eligible for early release due to the coronavirus pandemic, his sentence is officially over on July 11.

READ MORE: New York State Assembly passes Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act

The Staten Island man who filmed Eric Garner’s last breaths was arrested multiple times on drug and weapons charges. According to The New York Daily News, Orta sold drugs in 2016 to an undercover officer multiple times. He was arrested in possession of a .25-caliber handgun.

Many believe that he was the victim of police harassment outside and inside of prison. In 2015, Orta filed a lawsuit alleging that he was poisoned while in Rikers Island. He and 19 other inmates alleged that they were rendered ill after guards tampered with their meatloaf.

At the age of 22, Orta filmed the police chokehold of Eric Garner who was accused of selling loose cigarettes. New York Police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, held Garner around the neck on the ground. The man continuously said, “I can’t breathe,” in a statement that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The words were again echoed by George Floyd who was killed after being pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, for over nine minutes. The similarities in the cases have propelled Orta’s name back into the media spotlight.

READ MORE: GoFundMe for fired officer who fatally choked Eric Garner raises over $100K in 48hrs

Daniel Pantaleo was fired five years later, in 2019, he faced no criminal charges.

Ramsey Orta told Time Magazine that he regretted being involved in the Garner case. He said the public attention was overwhelming, “It just put me in a messed-up predicament,” he told the publication that he became the victim of consistent police harassment.

A GoFundMe campaign to help Orta has nearly met its $200,000 goal.

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The post Ramsey Orta, man who filmed Eric Garner’s arrest, released from prison appeared first on TheGrio.

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