The man who videotaped Eric Garner’s chokehold death was set to be released from jail on a drug case Friday following an online fundraiser for his bail money — and after prosecutors removed their initial objection to the unconventional philanthropy.
Ramsey Orta, 23, of Staten Island, spent the past two months in Rikers Island on just under $100,000 bail after getting busted in February on charges that he sold drugs to undercover cops.
A campaign on gofundme.com gathered steam in recent days, raising $47,500 from 1,865 donors as of Friday afternoon — well over the approximately $12,000 needed to secure a bond.
But there was one more hurdle.
At his arraignment, prosecutors asked for a hearing on the source of any bail, a common practice in drug cases to ensure the release is not the fruit of ill-gotten gains.
And when the bond was secured, the district attorney’s office raised objections Thursday and a hearing was scheduled for Monday. After an outcry on social media, it was pushed up to Friday afternoon.
By then, prosecutors did an about-face.
“Upon review of materials provided by the bail bondsman…it appears it’s in compliance,” assistant district attorney Adam Silberlight said, adding that their initial resistance was based on how the online fund-raiser squared with the statute.
A judge then signed off on the bond.
“We’re glad the district attorney’s office realized this was the right thing to do,” said Orta’s lawyer Ken Perry, who earlier had criticized prosecutors of “playing games.”
Source: New York Daily News | Oren Yaniv