Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal chokehold, was released from jail Friday after his aunt, Lisa Mercado, as well as Orta family attorneys William Aronin and Ken Perry were interviewed Thursday on Democracy Now! You can watch our interview here.
Garner was an African-American father of six who was killed after a white New York City police officer wrestled him to the ground, pinned him down and applied a fatal chokehold. The incident came to light after Orta recorded it with his cellphone.
On Friday, the Daily News reported prosecutors removed their initial objection to an online fundraiser that raised $47,500 to pay for Orta’s bond and win his release. They had originally scheduled a hearing on the source of the bond funds for Monday, but moved it to Friday afternoon after pressure from Orta’s supporters.
While no police officers were indicted for Eric Garner’s death, Orta has faced what he describes as harassment by local police. Orta was first arrested on an unrelated gun charge the day after the Staten Island coroner declared Garner’s death to be a homicide. He was later arrested and jailed on a drug charge. His mother, brother and wife have all been arrested, too.