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New York man who filmed deadly chokehold arrested on weapons charge

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By The Los Angeles Times
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, 8:51 p.m.

The New York man who recorded a cellphone video of police placing Eric Garner in a chokehold has been arrested on a weapons charge, police said on Sunday.

Ramsey Orta, 22, was leaving a Staten Island hotel with a 17-year-old girl late on Saturday when officers saw him place a .25 caliber semiautomatic handgun in the waistband of the girl's pants, police said. The gun had been reported stolen in Michigan in 2007, police said.

Orta was in the hospital on Sunday, police said, but refused to disclose further information about why he was there or his condition, citing privacy laws. It was unclear whether he had a lawyer.

Orta recorded the roughly three-minute video on July 17, in which Garner, 43, can be seen arguing with police officers trying to arrest him on charges of selling single, untaxed cigarettes. Garner complained that he couldn't breathe and soon died.

A woman who identified herself as Orta's grandmother, Annie Monteczuma, said that she did not know why he was hospitalized, nor did she know whether he had a lawyer.

“I just saw today that he was arrested and was in the hospital in the papers,” Monteczuma said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said Orta's arrest has “no bearing on the case or the movement of justice” regarding Garner's death.

“Let us be clear that the tape that Ramsey recorded has now been validated by the medical examiner's report,” Sharpton said.

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