By LOUIS FLORES
A witness, who made a video recording of New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo applying a homicide-inducing chokehold to Eric Garner, remains in jail, even after his family has raised the money for his bail.
The witness, Ramsey Orta, was denied release after a prosecutor from the State Island District Attorney's Office requested a hearing to determine the source of the bail funds, according to a report in The Staten Island Advance. The bail source hearing commenced on Thursday, but it was continued to Monday.
The delay in Mr. Orta's release from Rikers Island, where he has been being detained, follows complaints made by Mr. Orta that corrections officials at the troubled detention center were contaminating his meals, such that he did not believe that they were fit to be consumed. During Mr. Orta's incarceration, it was revealed that other inmates were being made sick after rat poison was reportedly found in the meals being given to inmates.
Mr. Orta was incarcerated at Rikers Island after the NYPD deliberately retaliated against Mr. Orta by arresting him and kept him under close watch after he publicly released the video showing Officer Pantaleo placing Mr. Garner into the deadly chokehold.
The retaliation being endured by Mr. Orta is taking place against a backdrop of a political campaign being waged by District Attorney Daniel Donovan (R-Staten Island), who is seeking to replace former U.S. Representative Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) in Congress.
District Attorney Donovan generated controversy when it was revealed that he intentionally under-charged Officer Pantaleo in the grand jury proceedings, which eventually absolved the officer of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges in connection with Mr. Garner's death. The city's medical examiner's office had ruled that Mr. Garner's death was a homicide. In the time since, District Attorney Donovan has opposed unsealing the grand jury minutes. In spite of the secrecy and the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, District Attorney Donovan he has asked voters not to use the Garner case as a campaign issue.
Unbelievably, Mayor de Blasio has expressed support for District Attorney Donovan's congressional campaign.
Continuing the City Hall press office's media blackout directed at Progress Queens, the mayor's press officials did not answer a request for an interview with the mayor over how the city's police and corrections departments apparently continue to seek revenge against Mr. Orta.
On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio described a video made by a South Carolina witness of the latest unarmed shooting death at the hands of a police officer as "so painful." Yet, Mayor de Blasio takes no action to ensure that justice is being served in New York when the interaction by on-duty police officers with the community results in fatalities.
Over a fifteen year period, interactions between on-duty NYPD officers and the public have resulted in 179 fatalities, according to an analysis of records by The New York Daily News.
Grassroots police reform activists claim that Mayor de Blasio can address the systemic failure by the NYPD ; its Internal Affairs Bureau ; the Civilian Complaint Review Board ; and by local, state, and federal prosecutors to hold NYPD officers accountable for misconduct, brutality, and fatalities by appointing a new commission, this time with the power to prosecuted cases of misconduct, similar to the Mollen Commission and the Knapp Commission appointed decades ago.
Ever though Mayor de Blasio campaigned for office on a promise to end race-based policing, once he assumed office, Mayor de Blasio appointed the biggest proponent of race-based policing to serve as his NYPD commissioner, William Bratton. In the time since, Mayor de Blasio has steadfastly defended the race-based policing philosophy, known as "Broken Windows."
Mayor de Blasio's betrayal of his promise to institute deep changes at the NYPD may diminish his 2017 reëlection chances, some community leaders say.