Ramsey Orta, 22 was arrested Saturday night on Staten Island, a few blocks from where officers confronted his friend Eric Garner, on July 17
Orta’s latest arrest came a day after the city’s medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide by the officer’s choke hold, as well as the compression of his chest and prone positioning, during physical restraint by cops. Patrick Lynch, the president of the city’s largest police union, described the encounter between Garner and police, as “a tragedy,” but said Orta’s arrest “only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition,” in Staten Island’s Tompkinsville community. Orta had a previous weapon conviction that prohibited him from possessing a firearm, according to police.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who called Orta to the lectern at Garner’s funeral and said the city should “thank God” he was there to record video, “when the police and EMS failed us, calling Orta’s arrest irrelevant. “No one is questioning the validity of the tape, and the medical examiner has validated it,” Sharpton said on Sunday.
Police said that plain clothes officers saw Orta stuff a silver-colored .25-caliber handgun into a 17 year old female companions waist band after they emerged from a brief stop at the Hotel Richmond, located on Central Ave.
Police called the location on Central Avenue, a “known drug prone location.” The unloaded semi-automatic weapon recovered was reported stolen in Michigan in 2007, police said. Officers charged the 17-year old with criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful use of marijuana.