Man Who Shot Chokehold Video Arrested on Gun Charge

The NYPD said Sunday that the man who shot a video of a fatal police chokehold had been arrested on a gun charge.

Ramsey Orta, 22, was arrested Saturday night on Staten Island and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has been a vocal critic of police tactics in the case, said Orta’s arrest had no bearing on calls for justice.

Orta shot the video of an officer using a chokehold to restrain Eric Garner on July 17. Garner died shortly after the New York City medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

“If you’re a policeman you’re trained to deal with crime, you’re not trained to commit a crime,” Sharpton said. “The chokehold is illegal.”

Others voiced support for the arrest.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement that the arrest “only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition in that community.”

Garner’s widow and the Rev. Al Sharpton have called for an arrest in his death.

Police say an unloaded semi-automatic weapon was recovered from Orta. It was reported stolen in Michigan in 2007.

They say Orta is in a hospital being treated for a medical condition.

Orta’s wife believes the arrest was a setup.

“It’s not fair,” said Chrissie Ortiz. “And it’s obvious. Once they ruled this a homicide, now you all of a sudden find something on him? C’mon. Let’s be realistic. Even the dumbest criminal would know not to be doing something like that outside. So the whole story doesn’t fit at all.”

 It wasn’t clear if Orta had a lawyer.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.