New York, New York – 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed the NYPD killing Eric Garner, was arrested shortly after on trumped up charges. He has since been locked up at the notorious Rikers prison in New York.
Immediately following the killing of Eric Garner, Orta was stalked and targeted by police. They allegedly scrutinized Orta’s daily life until they were able to find something to charge him with. Eventually, he was confronted by police who illegally searched him and arrested him for the non-violent crime of carrying an unregistered firearm.
Orta had expressed concern for his safety after his arrest because he was sure that the police were retaliating against him for exposing what they had done to Eric Garner.
While in prison, Orta has taken seemingly drastic measures to ensure that he is not killed by the gang he witnessed murder Eric Garner. Orta has been refusing to eat, as he fears that guards may poison him because he is a high-profile opponent of police brutality. Sadly, Orta’s fears were well-founded. While he has been behind bars at Rikers, dozens of other inmates have reported traces of rat poison in their food, a claim that was actually recently admitted by prison officials.
It was reported by the New York Post last month that 19 different inmates were denied medical testing after bluish green pellets were found in their food. The prison admitted that these pellets were rat poison, but failed to give the inmates medical attention, and failed to offer any kind of explanation as to why the prison’s food was tainted with rat poison.
Orta has been refusing to eat, so he has not ingested any of the food laced with rat poison and is not one of the 19 inmates in question. However, his health is deteriorating and he is becoming malnourished due to the lack of food.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Free Thought Project, Danette Chavis, organizer and founder of National Action Against Police Brutality (NAAPB) pointed out that Orta’s search and arrest were completely unjustified.
“It’s imperative that each and every one of us watch this case closely, for what is being done to Ramsey Orta is being done across the United States to those who would resist the oppressive forces of police. When police have to reach back into the history of a person to justify their actions of “today,” something is very wrong. For the actions committed by the person at the time of arrest should be sufficient. And when it isn’t they ought not be charged with a crime. Because if “history” is enough to “convict” the United States itself is guilty, for crimes unable to be enumerated here,” Chavis said.
Orta’s situation is dire, there is only so long that a person can go without adequate nutrition. It has now been proven that the food in prison cannot be trusted, not for your average inmate, and especially not for controversial ones. His bail has been set at $16250, and his family cannot afford to pay it. This is truly a life and death situation, so his family has started a fundraiser to help with the legal fees. Unfortunately, however, the campaign has only raised a fraction of its goal. Please consider donating to the fundraiser if you have the means, even if it is only a few dollars.
Orta was not the only person to be targeted for filming the Garner murder either, as we reported last month, Taisha Allen, who also filmed the death of Eric Garner, is speaking out and saying that her involvement with the case has put a target on her back with the NYPD.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.
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