NEW YORK — The man who shot a video of a fatal police chokehold in New York City has been arrested on a gun charge, police said Sunday.
A police spokesman said 22-year-old Ramsey Orta was arrested Saturday night on Staten Island on a charge of criminal possession of a firearm.
Orta shot the video of an officer using a chokehold to restrain Eric Garner on July 17.
Garner’s death shortly after the video was shot sparked an outcry against the police. The New York City medical examiner issued a report Friday saying the death was a homicide caused by a chokehold.
The unloaded semi-automatic weapon recovered from Orta was reported stolen in Michigan in 2007, police said.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, described the encounter between Garner and police “a tragedy” but said Garner’s arrest “only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition in that community.”
But the Rev. Al Sharpton called Orta’s arrest irrelevant.
“No one is questioning the validity of the tape, and the medical examiner has validated it,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton and Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner, have called for prosecutors to move forward with an arrest in the death.
Police said Orta was in a hospital being treated for a medical condition Sunday. No details about his condition were available. It was not clear if Orta had a lawyer.