New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo may have never been charged in the death of Eric Garner but the man who recorded the infamous cry of “I can’t breathe” has been serving a four-year prison sentence and says he has been beaten, threatened and poisoned by corrections officers in retaliation for recording the video.
Ramsey Orta’s earliest possible release is December 2019, according to court records, but this week after news of Pantaleo’s firing spread, activists began calling for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to grant him an early release, which he is empowered to do.
Their posts was shared numerous times using the hashtag #FreeRamsey.
Once word of the campaign began taking up wind, others started calling for Orta to be free.
Despite the overwhelming support, phone calls, and emails, their requests for an early release were ignored, according to IndyBay.
“Ramsey has literally lost years of his life for doing the right thing. Without Ramsey, many of you would have never heard about Eric Garner. Ramsey is a passionate young man determined to do right in this world. He deserves so much, yet he has lost everything.”
Ramsey Orta was sent to prison in October 2016 after New York City police officers claim they saw him place a gun in the waistband of a teenage girl who was with him. His lawyer said no fingerprints were found on the gun.
Orta said the gun was planted. He also said the NYPD began stalking him after the July 2014 video went viral, shining flashlights through his windows at night, parking their cars in front of his building, looking for any excuse to arrest him until they eventually nabbed him.
Though Orta did the right thing in recording the Garner death, he is paying the price behind bars while Pantaleo continues to be a free man.
That is not the only income Pantaleo has received as he has a GoFundMe in his name raising over $100,000.
CopWatch also has a fundraiser on GoFundMe to collect funds to help Orta get back on his feet. The fundraiser has a goal of $20,000.