As the country continues to ponder how Officer Daniel Pantaleo was not indicted for the death of Eric Garner—even though the fatal incident was captured on footage—the eyewitness who caught the entire takedown on footage, Ramsey Orta, says that he’s not at all surprised.
“I wasn’t surprised. I knew that would be the verdict,” he told the New York Daily News. “I feel like they should have at least charged him with something. From jump, I knew that it was just bullsh-t.”
According to Orta, the all-white grand jury was rigged and not even paying attention during his brief testimony.
“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 continued. “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 went on to say that the questions that he was asked didn’t even have a lot to do with what was done to Garner. Instead, Orta says that he was questioned about why Eric was standing on the sidewalk the day of the incident and what he was up to.
“We not here for that. Everybody knows why Eric was standing there.”
Orta also said that the entire jury was white.
“I ain’t see no Black (or Hispanic) people in there.”
Apparently, his testimony was also cut short.
“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.”
Fellow witness, Rodney Lee, who owned the beauty supply store that Garner was killed in front of, also said that he felt members of the grand jury weren’t very interested in his testimony.
“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.”
Hopefully, something becomes of the Justice Department’s investigation into Garner’s death.