Ramsey Orta, the Staten Island man who filmed the death of Eric Garner last year, was arrested on an unrelated gun charge the day after the Staten Island coroner declared Garner’s death to be a homicide. He’s been sitting in Riker’s Island since.
A stunning development in the case occurred this week when Orta refused to eat in jail, citing his belief that his food was being poisoned. Indeed, other inmates found bluish pellets in their food, which then tested positive for rat poison, as reported by the New York Post last month. Questions about whether the police who arrested Orta were involved in trying to poison him in jail still need to be investigated.
Rather than just let him waste away in jail from fasting, Orta’s family and activists on social media have been able to raise the over $36,000 needed for his bail and legal funds; only $4,000 shy of their gofundme goal. Family members reported on the donation site that his bail was posted and they are awaiting his release today.
The major question involved in his case was why Orta was targeted by the police in the first place. Reports of police intimidation and stalking before his arrest were documented by Time Magazine last summer, before his arrest in August. He isn’t alone. Taisha Allen, another bystander who filmed the police attack Garner, has also reported that she has been the victim of police intimidation and violence.
Eric Garner was a Staten Island man who was put in an illegal chokehold by police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, which ultimately led to his death.
Update: Ramsey Orta’s gofundme page has reached over it’s goal of $40,000. Feel free to continue donating to his family here.