Grand jury witness says Garner family was cheated

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Ray Orta is the man that videotaped footage of Eric Garner being detained and placed in a chokehold that led to his death. This video has been a crucial piece of evidence and has been seen by millions across the globe. For many, it left no doubt that a grand jury should have little problem bringing charges against the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who was responsible for the chokehold. However, the world was shocked when the grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo. Now Orta is speaking out on his experience with the grand jury.

According to Orta, he was expected to testify for 30 minutes to several hours but to his shock, his testimony was only 10 minutes. Orta claims that the prosecutor and many of the jury members treated him and other witnesses with disrespect. During his testimony, he noted that jurors were holding private conversations, using cellphones and overall, not listening to his statements. When he was questioned about the incident, all inquiries were about Eric Garner and nothing about Pantaleo. The questions centered on “What was Eric doing there? Why was Eric there?” Orta states that only about three jurors asked any questions and nothing pertaining to the cop choking Garner. One juror asked Orta if he had ever been arrested, to which Orta angrily replied, “Miss, what does my criminal history have to do with Eric? We shouldn’t be sitting here talking about then. We should be talking about Eric now. And we should not even be talking about Eric. We should be talking about the cop.”

Orta stated that the exchanges left him so upset and he complained and was told by an assistant district attorney to “watch how I talk.” Orta replied in return, “First of all, you can’t go tell me how to talk. These are my feelings and I feel like there should be no sugarcoating.” Orta went on to state that the prosecutors actually cut his time to testify short. Additionally, he has stated to media, “They treated all of us like we were dumb, like we didn’t know nothing. I mean, what was the point of us even being there if they didn’t want to listen to us?”

A spokesperson for the New York district attorney’s office refused to comment on this account.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

4 Comments
  1. Point is this..In the Mike Brown case..shoplifting does NOT warrant death by being shot down in the street like a dog. In the Eric Garner case..selling cigarettes, illegal or not, does NOT warrant death by being choked to death. I know government officials who have stole and sold worst things like stealing tax payers money and selling drugs, but they were not shot or strangled to death…neither should these men have been.

  2. i believe him , now they see how ignorant they behavied , they gotta hide out now , it was symbolic of how they too view black life …why does a black man have to be doing somthing wrong to justify a choke hold , why owuld anyone believe a human heed to be choked and mistreated , he ask the cop to stop harrassing him , , that cop knew garner was selling cigarettes on that corner .. but a call from the store owners made him feel he needed to police the area ,, i cant believe in this country again se are treated like the 50s all over again .. they might as well get a cape and and cross to burn … they have no respect for human life ….
    we not trying to loose one of our men. to violence by the hands of cops .. police need to be retrained period

  3. One can judge by the line of questioning and the brevity of the of the witness questioning, the DA office had no interest in bringing charges against this cop. This dude has been a problem child for his department for years with several lawsuits against his department due to his overzealous nature. These folks are all in cahoots and complicit. They “take care of their own.”

  4. Sadly, never enough when lose someone to crime anyhow make progress to “Garner family” watching eye of trying implicate you on decadence. Is this offensive, now settlements incurs your rights not speak of bigotry of NYCPD shall Emerald society of NYCPD assist you on comments? Anyhow,NY Taxation and Finance Commissioner Jerry Boone awaiting. Taking his share of amount you’ll receive along NYC public assistance forgotten your housing which (NYCHA) CEO Shola Olatoye awaiting offer former unit. To another hopeful family whom need to lobby for social respect “Stop and Frisk” still annoyance to Blacks no matter the vocation. Those saying, the lies NAPO, upon Eric prior convections assault and harassing is placid since doesn’t affect those never profile. Yeah, ideal example of loyalty whom Whites mention “Jeffrey Johnson” whom killed his boss 2012 in NYC media. Suddenly, no longer remembers this killing due: fact murder White I’m using statistics yes. As commercial media endorse the racial policies to justify the inequality in USA whom guilty protecting “mafia” White collar crime repeal is needed! Garner family you have my respect best success to your family big strong policies benefit society.

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