Ramsey Orta Copwatch Fund
Ramsey Orta Copwatch Fund

Donate To Help Support Ramsey Orta, The New Yorker Who Videotaped Eric Garner's Fatal Arrest

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Ramsey Orta, the New Yorker who filmed the NYPD's fatal arrest of Eric Garner and, in doing so, helped to preserve the abhorrent sight of racist police injustice for all of America to see, appeared in a Staten Island courtroom today, answering to charges of selling fake MDMA to an undercover police officer.

Since the video of Garner shouting "I can't breathe!" eleven times as he was choked to death was released, the NYPD has made life a living hell for Orta. The 23-year-old was arrested on a weapons charge in August 2014--a case that he claims was a total setup by the NYPD. During the arrest, Orta claimed that officers told him "that karma's a bitch, what goes around comes around," and went on record stressing that police follow him around constantly--a harassment technique that started just weeks after Garner's death.

Wednesday's court date is in connection to Orta's June 2015 arrest, during which the NYPD claims he sold MDMA to a cop in NYC's East Village neighborhood. Orta was jailed on Rikers Island and, despite paying his bail, kept behind bars by Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan's bail source hearing. Suffice to say, NYPD beat cops and the city's greater justice system has worked in myriad ways to make everyday life impossible for Orta--clear vindictive payback for exposing the egregious tactics of those on the force.

According to Twitter user @RebelDiaz, the police's intimidation of Orta extended to his family and supporters Wednesday. Diaz wrote "#RamseyOrta next court date is January 11th. When he went up to judge he was surrounded by 8 court officers! The intimidation is insane!" and posted a photo of multiple police officers " tryna intimidate the supporters and press for #RamseyOrta."

In spite of everything, Orta remains seemingly determined to resist the NYPD and call for even more Cop Watch efforts. His personal twitter account is an inspiration, half rebukes against police intimidation, half calls citizen oversight and filming of cops. Also, a WeCare crowdfund campaign has been set up to help finance Orta in the face of police harassment. It stresses:

Today Ramsey continues to be harassed by NYPD. WeCopwatch is currently working to get Ramsey a video camera so he can document the ongoing harassment, but we are also asking all those who care about Ramsey's well being to throw down to help Ramsey through these difficult times.

This fund is not a Legal Defense fund, but rather a fund to be used to support Ramsey through these times. We just want to make sure his needs are being met.

While Orta waits for his January court date, it's impossible to say what the NYPD will do in order to continue this pattern of payback profiling. We suggest you make whatever donation you can afford in order to help him out.