NEW YORK (PIX11) — The wife of a man who captured the arrest and subsequent in-custody death of a Staten Island father has been arrested on suspicion of assault, police said Wednesday.
Chrissie Ortiz was taken into custody Tuesday after she allegedly attacked a 35-year-old woman outside a store on Bay Street in Staten Island, NYPD said.
The victim was taken to a hospital with bruising and swelling to her face. She was treated and released, police said.
In her first sit-down interview, Ortiz spoke to PIX11 News Wednesday saying she believes police are targeting her family after her husband’s video sparked citywide outrage over officers’ behavior, especially when it comes to the long-prohibited use of a chokehold.
Her husband, 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, was arrested last weekend on a weapons charge. He has said he believes that police targeted him and set him up, saying he’s been followed by officers.
His wife echoed those suspicions to PIX11 News. She said her husband’s recording was spurred by experiences he had with NYPD officers who allegedly “take advantage” of citizens in their Staten Island neighborhood.
Orta is the bystander who shot footage of Eric Garner’s July 17 arrest in which the 43-year-old father was put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer.
During the arrest, Garner could be heard repeating, “I can’t breathe.” Minutes later, he was dead.
The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide.
Four EMS workers who responded to the scene but apparently did not try to resuscitate Garner were suspended without pay. An investigation is ongoing into the police officers who took Garner into custody, one of whom has been stripped of his gun and his badge.
Garner was stopped for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, or loosies.