"It was Bullshit." White Jurors were asking about Cigarettes. From [HERE] Ramsey Orta — who recorded the July 17 incident in which Officer Daniel Pantaleo (along with several other white cops who pounced & smothered) put Eric Garner in a chokehold shortly before he died on his cellphone — told the Daily News the grand jury ‘wasn’t fair from the start,’ and claims his testimony only lasted 10 minutes. "I think they already had their minds made up," he said.
The Staten Island man who took the cellphone video seen around the world of a cop killing Eric Garner with a chokehold said Thursday the grand jury was rigged. He also said all the jurors were white. See video [HERE] [nyc has the largest number of Blacks in the country.]
“I feel like it wasn't fair at all,” he said. “It wasn't fair from the start.”” Ramsey Orta told the Daily News a day after the panel voted not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo with a crime.
Orta said he arrived at the Richmond County courthouse on Sept. 1 prepared to be grilled for hours about what happened on July 17, when cops confronted Garner on a Tompkinsville street for selling unlicensed cigarettes.
Ten minutes later, Orta said he was done.
“When I went to the grand jury to speak on my behalf, nobody in the grand jury was even paying attention to what I had to say,” Orta said. “People were on their phones, people were talking. I feel like they didn't give (Garner) a fair grand jury."
“People was on their phones, people were having side conversations, like it was just a regular day to them,” he said of the jurors. Orta, 22, said his appearance before the panel started two hours late because some of the jurors had not shown up.
Then someone turned on the disturbing video of Pantaleo subduing Garner, which was first obtained by The News, and which shocked New York and the nation.
“They were asking me piece by piece — where I was, where I was standing at, if I was the one who shot the video,” he said of the prosecutors.
A man he described as a prosecutor “wasn’t even asking no questions about the police officer, he was asking all the questions towards Eric,” Orta said. “What was Eric doing there? Why was Eric there?”
“Nothing pertaining to the cop choking him,” he said.
Only a few jurors asked any questions.
“Maybe three, that’s all,” he said. “The rest of them, they weren't even worried about nothing.”
Those that did pose questions were also more focused on Garner than Pantaleo, he said.
“One grand juror asked me, ‘If you knew he was selling cigarettes why didn't you tell him the cops was there?’” he said.
Another grand juror asked Orta if he had ever been arrested.
“I said, ‘Miss, what does my criminal history have to do with Eric?’” he said. “I said we shouldn't be sitting here talking about me, we should be talking about Eric now. And we shouldn't even be talking about Eric, we should be talking about the cop.”
But the question on the minds of prosecutors and the jurors, Orta said, was “Why was Eric standing there?”
“The whole thing was just about Eric — why was he selling cigarettes, did you know he was selling cigarettes? It was bulls--t,” he said.
Orta said this got him upset and when he complained he was told — likely by a prosecutor — “to watch how I talk.”
“I said, ‘First of all, you ain't gonna tell me how to talk,’” he said. “These are my feelings and I feel like there should be no sugar coating.”
Orta said prosecutors “brushed it off.”
“They actually cut my time short,” Orta said. “My lawyer told me I was supposed to be in there for at least a half an hour and I only stayed maybe 10 minutes.”
A spokesman for Donovan’s office refused to comment on Orta’s account.
Orta said he feels the Garner family was cheated and is glad the Justice Department will investigate the killing.
“The feds should pick it up,” he said. “Staten Island is too tied up. They all know each other. They won’t violate their own kind.”
Asked if was surprised by the decision, Orta said, “I knew this was going to be the verdict.”
Orta said the jurors saw the video that everybody else saw and still wouldn’t charge Pantaleo with a crime.
“We shouldn't have to fight for it, it's plain, it's right there,” he said.
Otra’s remarks were echoed by 37-year-old Rodney Lee, manager of the beauty supply store in front of which Garner was killed.
“The way the jury looked at me, I felt like they were suspicious of me,” Lee said. “I told them what I saw and that was it. They didn't ask me how I feel about it, what it looked like, what I thought.”
Lee said he appeared before the panel on Oct. 22 and testified for “about 10 minutes.”
“I’m pretty sure there were about 20 of us saying the same thing, that this was not right,” he said. “They all treated us like we were dumb, like we didn't know nothing ... I mean, what was the point of us even being there if they weren't going to listen to us?”