As New Yorkers take stock of a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer for the choking death of a suspect, news has slipped under the radar that there was one person who was indicted for his actions during last July’s fatal arrest attempt. The man who took the famous video of the incident was indicted on charges of illegal possession of a pistol.
On Wednesday evening, a New York grand jury announced that it was not going to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the July death of the 350-pound, six-foot-three Eric Garner. Garner died after the officer used a choke hold to subdue him.
Another man was also present that day and he used his cell phone to video the officers as they tried to arrest Garner.
Ramsey Orta, Garner’s associate, was on hand when the officers made their attempt to arrest Garner for selling illegal cigarettes. After the incident with Garner, police also detained Orta, saying he had an illegal .25 caliber pistol on his person when they arrived on the scene.
Police said Orta slipped the illegal gun into the waistband of a teen standing near the scene of the altercation before he took out his cell phone to record Garner’s arrest.
Orta was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a weapon after Garner’s failed arrest.
In his own defense, Orta claimed that the police filed false gun charges against him because they were upset that his film of Garner’s death became national news. A New York grand jury, however, discounted Orta’s claims and indicted him on one felony count each of third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession.
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