Man Who Filmed Deadly NYPD Chokehold Arrested
Sharpton says Orta bust creates conflict of interest
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2014 8:16 AM CDT
Eric Garner is seen in this family photo provided by the National Action Network.   (AP Photo/Family photo via National Action Network, File)

(Newser) – Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the NYPD chokehold that killed an unarmed man, was arrested Saturday night for allegedly trying to pass off a stolen gun—and was denounced by the head of the police union. "It is criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers," the union president said in a statement that the Rev. Al Sharpton called the "sickest logic that I ever heard," reports the New York Daily News. Orta, who has been arrested 24 times since 2009, recorded police as they pinned 43-year-old Eric Garner to the ground last month despite the asthmatic 350-pound man's pleas that he couldn't breathe.

Garner's death has been ruled a homicide, and Sharpton told reporters that Orta's arrest created a conflict of interest for the district attorney's office, the New York Times reports. "Let the federal government handle it, so that there is no question about the objectivity of the investigation," he said. Police say Orta, who was arrested in a location known for drugs, wasn't deliberately targeted. A police source tells CNN that after his arrest, Orta told officers, "You're only mad at me because I filmed your boy." The NYPD banned chokeholds in 1993 and Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who placed Garner in one, has been suspended. The chief of the police union says the officer is "distraught" over the death. "No one wants to have to deal with the fact that someone died because of something they had to do," he says.

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Showing 3 of 178 comments
Aug 5, 2014 1:27 PM CDT
Sharpton's right for a change. A few people still aren't getting it. This is about a paramilitary _civil_ police force asserting themselves over the citizen masses. The starkest example I'm aware of is a man who was tortured by Penn. State Troopers for many hours, including in a hospital treatment room after forcing medical personnel to leave the room, then railroaded into prison. A little slow but give it time to develop. If your eyes have been closed, they'll be pinned open from now on. And just like Eric Garner, this is what they do when they KNOW they're being recorded. Video produced by former Penn. policeman Larry Hohol regarding citizen Robert Leone.
Arthur Vandelay
Aug 5, 2014 8:18 AM CDT
Never fear Al Sharpton is on the case and he is going to hold several protests(RIOTS). Thanks COMCAST for supporting racist Al
Aug 5, 2014 4:24 AM CDT
Something smells here.