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Man who taped Eric Garner arraigned on gun charge
The Staten Island man who recorded the police chokehold on Eric Garner, was held in lieu of $75,000 bail Monday after being arrested on weapons charges, said a spokesman for the Staten Island district attorney's office.
Ramsey Orta, 22, was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after he allegedly walked out of a Central Avenue hotel with a 17-year-old girl and gave her a gun just before 10 p.m. on Saturday, police said.
Orta, who lives in Tompkinsville, was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon with a previous conviction, police said.
Narcotics officers had watched the pair enter the Richmond Hotel, which is allegedly well known for drug activity, moments before.
The gun was reported stolen from Michigan in 2007, police said. Sunday, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Orta's arrest should have "no bearing at all on the case" involving Garner's death while in police custody.
Orta's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Orta was thrown into the public eye last month after he videotaped the attempted arrest and alleged chokehold of Staten Island dad Eric Garner, who died shortly after. On Friday, the medical examiner ruled Garner's death was a homicide caused by the chokehold and chest compression as well the position he was placed in while in police custody.
The video went viral, sparking a heated debate about NYPD tactics and the relationship between police and community.
"The tape that Ramsey recorded has now been validated by the medical examiner's report," Sharpton said, speaking at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem. "He's not an eyewitness, his tape is."
On Sunday, Patrick Lynch, president of the police's union the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, said Orta's arrest "underscores the dangers" police face in the area.
"It is criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers," Lynch said in a statement.
Orta's next court appearance is Aug. 8.