Ramsey Orta transferred to prison infirmary due to sickness

Stephon Johnson | 4/23/2020, midnight
He’s scheduled to be released this summer, but Ramsey Orta’s condition behind bars could put that in jeopardy.
Ramsey Orta Photo Courtesy of Free Ramsey Orta Facebook page

Orta filmed the NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014, which was publicized around the world lead to the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” becoming a slogan of the anti-police brutality movement. 

In the aftermath of the video of Garner’s death and the movement it sparked, Orta was arrested three times between 2014 and 2016.  The first arrest occurred within weeks of Garner’s death (and a day after his death was ruled a homicide) for criminal possession of a handgun he allegedly tried to give a teenager. Less than a year after that, Orta was arrested and charged with possessing and selling drugs. Months after that arrest he was put in handcuffs again for allegedly selling the drug MDMA (known as “ecstasy”) to an undercover officer. Lab tests ruled that the MDMA was fake and led to reduced charges. 

Still, Orta took a plea deal for said charges and was sent away for four years in prison in 2016. Advocates believe each arrest was a set-up by the NYPD as part of a retaliation against Orta for filming the Garner video. 

Attempts to contact the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and Acting New York State Prisons Commissioner Anthony Annucci for comment were unsuccessful. 

WeCopwatch advised people to contact the offices of Annucci, Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Daniel Martuscello and New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanding answers regarding Orta. They also advised people to donate directly to Orta via his PayPal at OfficialRamseyOrta@gmail.com and send books, magazines, regular mail and money orders to Midstate Correctional Facility at 9005 Old River Road, P.O. Box 2500, Marcy, NY 13403.

Trujillo believes people should help Orta for his help in generating awareness about police brutality. 

“Like so many other incarcerated people, he should be given early release as soon as possible,” said Trujillo. “His actions helped spark a movement. He deserves everyone’s support.”