From Justin Gardner:
Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the most infamous police killing of Eric Garner – and was thereafter targeted by police in a barrage of “false and/or trumped up charges” – was sentenced to four years in prison for gun possession and drug charges.
While many of NYPD’s finest will celebrate the silencing of an activist who helped expose police brutality, the reality is thatanother man is being locked in a cage for victimless crimes, while the one who murdered Eric Garner walks free.
“Ramsey Orta told his family “it will be okay” in Staten Island Supreme Court as Justice Stephen Rooney read out his sentence.
As court officers put handcuffs on Orta, protesters stood up in the courtroom, holding their fists in the air, flashing peace signs and chanting, “No justice no peace! F–k these racist police!”
We can only hope that Orta does not suffer physical and mental abuse while in the confines of a prison. He endured a short time in jail last year until a grassroots fundraising effort bailed him out, but while there Orta found rat poison in his food and refused to eat.
We can’t help but be reminded of another police brutality activist – Sandra Bland – who mysteriously died in jail after being pulled over for improper lane usage.
“We’re feeling really upset,” said Lisa Ricardo, Orta’s aunt. “I would tell the police, don’t touch him. Hands off Ramsey. Leave him alone in jail.”
Orta’s video of officer Daniel Pantaleo putting Eric Garner in a banned chokehold for selling loose cigarettes on the street, which brought him to the ground and caused his death by asphyxiation, was one of the most disturbing, yet important, moments in police accountability. Garner was heard repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”
The world …