If justice wasn’t served in the shocking death of Eric Garner, irony certainly was.

In this case, irony twists around the contorted concept that justice is blind, and that, ideally, the dirty work of cops peace officers is better done out of sight and out of the mind of the general public.

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There are plenty of police and other authorities who long for the days past before cameras, phones and other digital devices were everywhere, potentially recording anything going on.

Ironically or not, Officer Darren Wilson, now infamous for killing Michael Brown in an alleged justified homicide, was caught on tape threatening to arrest someone for filming his actions as a public officer.

It is no secret that many citizen journalists have been threatened with arrest for daring to film cops, particularly during ongoing arrests. And the Supreme Court has upheld that doing so is a right protected under the First Amendment, and otherwise in the interest of open, transparent good government.

In the case of Eric Garner, no good deed goes unpunished, apparently.

The Huffington Post noted the sad fact that A Grand Jury Did Indict One Person Involved In Eric Garner’s Killing — The Man Who Filmed It:

In August, less than a month after filming the fatal July 17 encounter in which Daniel Pantaleo and other NYPD police officers confronted Garner for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, a grand jury indicted Orta on weapons charges stemming from an arrest by undercover officers earlier that month.

Police alleged that Orta had slipped a .25 caliber handgun into a teenage accomplice’s waistband outside a New York hotel. Orta testified that the charges were falsely mounted by police in retaliation for his role in documenting Garner’s death, but the grand jury rejected his contention, charging him with single felony counts of third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession.

A Reuters report back in August claimed that Ramsey Orta was arrested after narcotics police officers observed him outside of a “known drug location on Staten Island.” However, Orta has insisted that he was set up because of his role in filming Eric Garner’s death:

Orta told officers, “You’re just mad because I filmed your boy,” an NYPD spokeswoman said.

Was Orta really set up? Without video evidence in the public forum, it is hard to be sure, but clear nonetheless that justice falls unevenly.


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