Ramsey Orta in Solitary Confinement after testifying against Officer Daniel Pantaleo

This week media across the country took a moment to speculate on whether departmental policies were violated in the August 2014 police chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. A non-criminal departmental trial for Officer Daniel Pantaleo underscores both the power and limitations of using video as evidence.

illustrations by Jonathan Burkhardt and OZI MAGANA

We know Eric was killed because Ramsey filmed it. These images were broadcasted to the world galvanizing a movement against police abuse and white supremacy. But regardless of the video, nearly 5 years later there have been no criminal charges against Pantaleo, rather a highly publicized kangaroo court of sorts to determine something that we already know. Pantaleo killed Eric Garner using a chokehold against departmental policy. We do not find it a coincidence that Ramsey was thrown back into the Box this week following his testimony against Daniel Pantaleo via video from Groveland Correctional facility in upstate New York where he is currently incarcerated.

In March of this year, Ramsey wrote a letter articulating that several officers had been threatening to set him up. Since that letter, Ramsey has been ticketed, given loss of privileges, and held in confinement following a visit. Ramsey being put into the Box is in retaliation for him testifying against Pantaleo, but it is also part of a bigger, methodical cycle of harassment and abuse that has rotated Ramsey in and out of solitary confinement 4 times, and moved him through 11 New York State correctional facilities during these past couple years.

This abuse is articulated exstensively in Chloé Cooper Jone’s article
Fearing For His Life, but we wanted to show an abridged timeline of these events to help you visualize what Ramsey is dealing with.

October 2016, Ramsey is put in Otis Bantum Correctional Center and processed. By Late October Ramsey is transferred temporarily to Down State and by November he is moved over to Fishkill Correctional. There he is approached by correctional officers asking is he is the one who filmed Eric Garner. In Fishkill Ramsey cut by an inmate and by January 2017, he is transferred to Franklin Correctional Facility in upstate by the Canadian border. At this point, Ramsey has begun to accumulate tickets, which lead to loss of privileges, and in March of 2017 Ramsey is put in the Box for the first time. In October of 2017, Ramsey is attacked by a correctional officer and thrown in the Box again. Ramsey if eventually moved to Gouverneur Correctional Facility where in January of 2018, he is thrown in the box again for 60 days. By February, Ramsey is moved to Altona and by August, is put back into solitary confinement for 90 days and shipped to Upstate Correctional Facility. Somewhere in this ordeal Ramsey is sent back down to Fishkill and transferred back upstate to Groveland Correctional Facility where he resides today.

Ramsey has been dragged through the mud, only to be dragged through the mud some more. In the coming days, we will be finding out more about Ramsey’s situation and how long he will be in solitary. For the moment we ask that you keep Ramsey in your thoughts.

You can write to him at
Ramsey Orta 16A4200
P.O Box 50
Sonyea, New York, 14556

You can donate to his commissary using PayPal with [email protected].

You can also write a letter of support for Ramsey’s upcoming August Parole Board hearing.

We thank all of you for your continued support for Ramsey and will update you over the next couple days.