Although he knows he did the right thing, Ramsey Orta views filming the death of Eric Garner as something he regrets.
Orta shared his reasons for his regrets during an interview with Time magazine, saying that life has drastically changed for him and his family since that fateful day in July 2014 when he captured Garner’s fatal encounter with NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Garner’s demise came after Pantaleo refused to let go of a chokehold he put him in while arresting him for suspicion of selling illegal cigarettes on a sidewalk in Staten Island, N.Y.
With his family moving out of their Staten Island home after claiming they were regularly followed and harassed by police since Garner’s death, Orta admitted to wishing that he would have done the video anonymously.
“Sometimes I regret just not minding my business,” Orta told Time while saying that his reasons for doing the deed anonymously stemmed from sparing his family the heartache and struggle of what they are now going through. “Because it just put me in a messed-up predicament.”
Despite Orta’s regrets, his filming of Garner’s final moments made him a hero in the eyes of many as it inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and supplied concrete proof that footage of police abuse towards people of color is very important.
Still, Orta has personally experienced a difficult time since capturing Garner’s death on video. VladTV notes he has faced several drug and gun charges since last year. As a result, Orta was arrested three times for allegedly giving a gun to a 17-year-old, drug possession and allegedly selling MDNA to a police officer.
The latter incident resulted in some of the charges being reduced after proof of the MDNA being fake surfaced after testing. Nevertheless, Orta still faces 60 years if he’s convicted, despite the reduction of charges.
Orta’s state of mind has become an item of concern. According to Lisa Mercado, a member of Orta’s family, his loved ones are worried about Orta in light of him expressing thoughts of suicide.
“He walks around with fear,” Mercado shared with Time. “He was always an outspoken person. He’s not anymore. He talks about, ‘Maybe I should just kill myself. I’m just hurting my entire family.’ He said he knew he was doing the right thing, but it turned out to be hell. It messed us all up.”
While his family lives in an area where people don’t recognize them, Orta stated that a financial strain exists for the family. As it stands now, Orta’s and his family are working to fight the charges he had before and after Garner’s death.
(Photo Source: AP)