New York City, New York – 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed the NYPD killing Eric Garner, was arrested shortly after on trumped up charges and held in jail until a grassroots effort was able to raise his bail money. His imprisonment became national news when it came to light that food in the prison was tainted with rat poison, and Orta was refusing to eat as a result.
For the past two months, Orta was free, but today he is due back in court to face the charges against him. Orta was constantly harassed by police after filming the death of Eric Garner, and was eventually arrested after an encounter with police where he was accused of possessing a handgun. The police then piled more charges on him relating to alleged drug deals that took place in the past, however, Orta was never found in possession of any drugs.
Orta’s family recently released a statement that said:
22 year old Ramsey Orta suffered a life time of abuse by police. It was quite normal to have friends and associates who suffered the same. The abuse led to arrests for which many had “plea bargained” in order to be released from prison. The only other option, is to plead innocent and remain in prison for a crime you did not commit – until a trial had been scheduled. This trial could be any where from 2 to 3 years before being scheduled! That’s 2 to 3 years in prison for a crime you did not commit! And being young and unable to grasp the consequences of “a plea bargain” many plead guilty instead.
So Ramsey Orta has a record, and that record will be used in court to justify the accusations currently waged against him. They will point to what he has been accused of in the past – to justify the accusations being made today. Ramsey’s next court appearance will be on May 28th at 9AM in a Staten Island court room. He will be prosecuted by the very same District Attorney’s office, who refused to prosecute those who murdered Eric Garner. Ramsey, who has come to “world wide attention” because he filmed the murder – is now being prosecuted by that same District attorney’s office!
Niether the public nor the family has any confidence a fair trial will be given. And a demand for “a change of venue” removing the case out of the jurisdiction of the Staten Island District Attorney has been made by the family’s new attorney. The results of which remain to be seen. On May 28th Ramsey Orta will appear in court after finally being released from prison. Bail in the amount of $16,250 was donated by the public in order to secure his release. This is the second time the public has “risen” to the occasion. Ramsey was first arrested after the murder of Eric Garner had been deemed “a homicide” and bail in the amount of $75,000 was demanded for his release.
He was released and appeared in court as scheduled to answer the charge of “weapons possession”. The prosecution was unable to produce any fingerprints belonging to Ramsey and requested more time to get DNA evidence. Time was granted and they were unable to produce DNA belonging to Ramsey. His court appointed attorney at the time suggested he submit his own. Ramsey agreed, in an attempt to prove his innocence but the prosecution could not say of a certainty the DNA on the weapon in question matched Ramsey’s. With “no prints” and “no DNA” positively matching, one would expect the charge against him should of been dropped. But instead his home was “raided” and he, his mother, and several others in the area were all arrested. They were accused of “possession and distribution of an illegal substance”.
The mother was released shortly after being arrested and bail has just been obtained for the release of Ramsey. He is expected in court on May 28th to answer the charge against him and the request for a “change of venue” is also hoped to be received and granted. You are asked to come out in support. You are asked to recognize what is being done to Ramsey cannot be accepted or tolerated. It is police who murder who ought to be arrested and charged – not those who film them! And you asked to “come out and say so” loud and proud.
Lisa Mercado, Orta’s Aunt, said that she hopes to see a big crowd out front of the courthouse this morning.
“I’m Feeling overwhelmed that tomorrow is my nephew’s court date. I’m so nervous, so lost in my thoughts. We are hoping to see a big crowd to show NYPD that we standing together,” she said.
The trial is set to begin at 9:00 at Richmond County Supreme Court, located at 18 Richmond Terrace, New York, New York 10301. A Facebook event page has been set up for the planned protest.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.