In a development as predictable as the next sunrise, police in New York City have arrested 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, who used his cell phone to document the police killing of Eric Garner. Orta’s mother says that the NYPD has been shadowing her son since the video of the July 17 incident went public, sending officers to stake out the family’s home and shine spotlights at their windows.
Undercover plainclothes officers claim that they saw Orta slip a handgun into the waistband of a girlfriend outside a hotel in what the department describes as a “drug-prone” neighborhood in Staten Island. Orta has a previous conviction that supposedly disqualifies him from owning a weapon.
Assuming that he was actually caught with a stolen gun – rather than being framed by the cops with what they call a “throw-down gun” – Orta would appear to be a repeat offender. The same is true, however, of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who assaulted Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, leading to what the medical examiner has concluded was a death by homicide.
Pantaleo was the subject of several previous complaints for excessive force prior to his lethal assault on Garner. One of them was filed by a Staten Island welder named Tommy Rice, who was one of four men stopped by Pataleo and several other officers about a mile from the site where Garner was killed. According to a lawsuit filed by Rice and his friend Darren Collins, they were stopped without cause and publicly strip-searched – the officers pulling down their pants and slapping their genitals in the futile hope of finding drugs. The suit was eventually settled for a trivial amount.
Another lawsuit filed by Rylawn Walker accuses Pantaleo of arresting him without cause, holding him for 24 hours, and then inventing a “cover charge” to justify the abduction. Walker’s lawsuit against Pantaleo remains active.
Patrick Lynch, the designated lie-spewer for the New York police officer’s union, insisted that “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms … stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.” Privileged criminals like Daniel Pantaleo present a far greater danger to the public, and they stand to benefit the most from transparently retaliatory arrests of people – whether or not they are model citizens – who document police corruption and abuse.
“This guy was going to get arrested even if it was for an unmuffled lawn mower,” observed the Facebook page for In The Line of Duty, a company that provides training for police agencies.
Orta wasn’t arrested because he is a dangerous criminal. In a city where nearly half of all murders go unsolved, the NYPD focused its attention on Orta because offending the department’s tribal sensitivities is of much greater importance than dealing with a criminal homicide committed by a member of the tribe.12:29 pm on August 4, 2014 Email William Norman Grigg