Ever since filming a New York City Police Department officer placing 43-year-old Eric Garner in a fatal choke hold last month in Staten Island, N.Y., Ramsey Orta’s life has been a living hell, he told a judge Monday.
Orta, 22, was arrested late Saturday on a weapons possession charge after police observed him exiting a hotel known for drug activity and placing an object in the waistband of a female companion. But he told the judge that he’s being set up by police because of the video that went viral, New York’s Daily News reports.
“They lying on me, they doing me wrong,” Orta said after pleading not guilty Monday, the Daily News reports. “I’ve been harassed by the police since this whole video” emerged. His bail was set at $75,000.
Later, in a telephone interview with the Daily News, Orta said that when the officers arrested him, they “started videotaping me before I even went to the precinct.
“‘I said, ‘Excuse me, Officer, you’re violating my rights now,’” Orta told the News. “That’s when [one of the officers] said, ‘Shut your mouth,’ and ‘Karma’s a bitch. What goes around comes around.’”
Police officials declined to comment to the Daily News about Orta’s claims, but a source told the site that “the facts speak for themselves.”
Sources also told the News that Orta is no stranger to the criminal-justice system. “He has been arrested 27 times since 2009 for offenses ranging from fare evasion and pot possession to a robbery in May,” the News writes. “He was also busted twice for gun possession and in January 2013 he was charged with menacing with a gun.”
Orta’s viral cellphone video captured Officer Daniel Pantaleo using an illegal choke hold last month on Garner, who was the father of six. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide on Friday. Pantaleo has been placed on desk duty and stripped of his gun and badge. Officer Justin Damico was also placed on desk duty but still has his gun and badge, police said.
Read more at the New York Daily News.