|YouTube (not Orta’s recording)|
NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo – one of several officers involved – will not be indicted; will not be brought up on criminal charges for a chokehold killing of Eric Garner, caught on video. A Staten Island grand jury made the decision yesterday.
But little known to the public, one man remains indicted by a different Staten Island grand jury. That would be Ramsey Orta – one of the people who recorded the fatal NYPD action against Garner for allegedly selling untaxed, individual cigarettes, called loosies. That is, after Garner was said to have broken up a fight. In a recording by a different person (pictured above) an NYPD is heard telling the recorder to back up and give Garner some air….
Coincidentally, Orta had been arrested a couple weeks after Garner’s death with a weapons charge, alleged an undercover narcotics officer. Orta, who pleaded not guilty, claims they are trumped up charges stemming from filming the Garner incident.
Incredibly, The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association had issued a statement which read: “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.” And that “a tragedy occurred” in “the effort to keep neighborhoods like Tompkinsville safe…”
From Huffington Post:
Police alleged that Orta had slipped a .25 caliber handgun into a teenage accomplice’s waistband outside a New York hotel. Orta testified that the charges were falsely mounted by police in retaliation for his role in documenting Garner’s death, but the grand jury rejected his contention, charging him with single felony counts of third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession.
The veracity of the charges aimed at Orta remain to be seen. However, the irony of a handgun doing less harm than the hands of Daniel Pantaleo et al. is not lost. The nature of a grand jury session should be pondered.
New York Times reports:
Grand juries determine whether enough evidence exists for a case to go forward to a criminal trial, either before a jury or a judge. By law, they operate in secret and hear only evidence presented by prosecutors, who also instruct the grand jurors on the law. Defense lawyers are barred from speaking. For a decision, 12 jurors who have heard all the evidence must agree.
For the the people only focusing on racial elements involved – it should be noted that multiple raced police kill hundreds of multiple raced Americans each year, but the actual statistics will not be revealed. The neo-warrior-cops are on the rise in Canada as well. Being arrested after filming an incident with police is on the rise too, in tandem with cries of “Are you resisting! Stop resisting!” The underlying message is: If you see something (in blue), don’t say something.
Documentary-maker Charles Shaw made a short film called Release Us which highlights that around 500 innocent Americans are murdered by police brutality each year – which would put the American death count at the hands of police higher than 5,000 since 9/11. That number is greater than the number of US soldiers lost in Iraq. Furthermore, what about numbers of wrongful deaths of citizens from police use of so-called non-lethal weaponry?
Just a few factors that the Garner case highlights is that it doesn’t take weaponry to kill a citizen – and cameras didn’t prevent it or lead to repercussions – except for one cameraman, regardless of the reasoning.
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