On July 17, 2014, Ramsey Orta took out his mobile phone and filmed a police officer in New York killing his friend, Eric Garner. But as soon as he stopped recording, Orta says his own life also took a dramatic turn for the worse.
Viewed millions of times, Orta’s clip shows Daniel Pantaleo, a white officer, gripping his arms around Garner’s neck in a chokehold.
Garner, a black American, was 43 years old at the time, and an asthmatic.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Garner said, as he was being pinned to the ground and asphyxiated.
They were his last words.
Garner, a father of six, was selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island, New York, when officers tackled him. His case was ruled as a homicide, meaning that his death was caused by human beings, but Pantaleo was not indicted. In 2015, Garner’s family reached a $5.9m settlement with the city of New York.