Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed an New York Police Department (NYPD) officer choking Eric Garner to death, was arrested on a gun charge Saturday night.
CBS New York reports that Orta is currently undergoing medical treatment in a hospital. His mother, Emily Mercado, says Orta is on suicide watch.
Orta reportedly believes he was arrested in an act of retaliation by the NYPD. The video he released of a NYPD officer choking Garner has gone viral and brought widespread criticism to the department. At the time of Orta’s arrest, he reportedly told officers, “You’re mad because I filmed your boy.”
Orta’s mother alleges that officers had been following her son ever since he published video of Garner being choked.
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Chrissie Ortiz, Orta’s wife, says the NYPD has been trying to dig up and publicize as much dirt on Orta as possible in recent weeks.
“He’s not perfect and he’s not an angel, but he’s not out here doing what they’re trying to portray him to be,” Ortiz said.
Garner’s death at the hands of the NYPD was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office last week. Ortiz told NBC New York that she believes it’s no coincidence police came and found Orta just days after the medical verdict was announced.
"It's not fair," said Ortiz. "And it's obvious. Once they ruled this a homicide, now you all of a sudden find something on him? C'mon. Let's be realistic. Even the dumbest criminal would know not to be doing something like that outside. So the whole story doesn't fit at all."
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Al Sharpton, who has led a vocal outcry against the NYPD over Garner’s death, says Orta’s record and arrest change nothing about Garner’s case.
“[Orta] put out a tape,” Sharpton said. “The tape speaks for itself and then the medical examiner comes in and corroborates what happened. This has no bearing at all on the case or the movement for justice in the regard to Eric Garner.”