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Man who shot NYC chokehold video has been arrested on unrelated gun charges

NEW YORK (AP) - The man who recorded video of a fatal police chokehold in New York City has been arrested on gun charges, police said Sunday.

Police said 22-year-old Ramsey Orta was arrested Saturday night on Staten Island, a few blocks from where officers confronted his friend Eric Garner on July 17.

Orta, whose recording of an officer restraining Garner with a chokehold fueled outcry against the police, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Man Who Filmed Eric Garner's Chokehold Death Arrested

Police said Orta had a previous weapon conviction that prohibited him from possessing a firearm.

He is due in court this month on robbery charges stemming from a May arrest and an assault charge from an arrest three days before Garner's death, according to court records.

Orta's latest arrest came a day after the city's medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide caused by the officer's chokehold, as well as the compression of his chest and prone positioning "during physical restraint by police."

Patrick Lynch, the president of the city's largest police union, described the encounter between Garner and police as "a tragedy" but said Orta's arrest "only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition" in Staten Island's Tompkinsville community.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who called Orta to the lectern at Garner's funeral and said the city should "thank God" he was there to record video "when the police and EMS failed us," called the arrest irrelevant.

"No one is questioning the validity of the tape, and the medical examiner has validated it," Sharpton said Sunday.

Police said plainclothes officers from a Staten Island narcotics unit saw Orta stuff a silver-colored, .25-caliber handgun into a 17-year-old female companion's waistband after they emerged from a brief stop at the Hotel Richmond. Police called the location, on Central Avenue, a "known drug prone location."

The unloaded semi-automatic weapon recovered was reported stolen in Michigan in 2007, police said. Officers charged the 17-year-old with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police said Orta was in a hospital Sunday for treatment of a medical condition. No details were available. It was not immediately clear if Orta or the 17-year-old had lawyers.

An attorney representing Orta in the robbery case did not return a telephone message.

Sharpton and Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, have called for Staten Island prosecutors to charge the officers involved in his death or turn the case over to federal authorities.

The officer who placed Garner in the chokehold was stripped of his gun and badge pending the investigation. Another officer was placed on desk duty.

Two paramedics and two emergency medical technicians were suspended without pay.

Orta echoed the call for arrest in Garner's death after hearing the medical examiner's ruling Friday.

"I knew that was the cause because I saw it," he said. "Now somebody should get charged."

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NYC Chokehold Reactions: The Public Vs. The Police

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jcollina August 04 2014 at 7:02 AM

Leave it to the NYPD to make their bad image worse. Anyone, besides me, suspect he was targeted?

Flag Reply +90 rate up
46 replies
joesog August 04 2014 at 7:34 AM

One case has nothing to do with the other. They got a drug dealing, gun carrying thug off the streets of New York.

Flag Reply +56 rate up
13 replies
kgc073 August 04 2014 at 8:55 AM

If he did not resist his 32nd arrest he would still be alive. If he was in prison like he should have been he would still be alive.

Flag Reply +54 rate up
14 replies
alans022 August 04 2014 at 7:11 AM

24 arrests including rape, gun charges, armed robbery etc. Why is this animal on the street??? "call Sharpton" he told his wife. Sorry loser, Sharpton only deals with black criminals.

Flag Reply +49 rate up
15 replies
rjen164497 August 04 2014 at 7:11 AM

Where is the loss? The area is a zoo and the animals are loose. The zoo keepers (police) din't stand a chance.

Flag Reply +40 rate up
14 replies
Mr. Pokorny August 04 2014 at 8:23 AM

Tit fot tat it still dosn't make it ok for the cops to act like bullys. It aint about race either. Its about time the police got some policing of there own and stop acting like they are above the law

Flag Reply +36 rate up
6 replies
jakki051 August 04 2014 at 6:50 AM


Flag Reply +29 rate up
7 replies
dtate38 August 04 2014 at 7:27 AM

Bad things happen to bad people!

Flag Reply +29 rate up
10 replies
frankiegallo33 August 04 2014 at 7:02 AM


Flag Reply +20 rate up
5 replies
davandsher August 04 2014 at 11:56 AM

If you do what the Cop tells you, you won't ever find yourself faced with this problem. The most dangerous job is done by Police, and especially in NY.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
dbarr1220 davandsher August 04 2014 at 6:59 PM

excuses, i live in a small town and been abused many times and i don't even have a traffic ticket......ignorant ass

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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