The wife of Ramsey Orta, the Staten Island man who recorded the forceful arrest that led to the death of Eric Garner in July, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Brooklyn. Chrissie Ortiz was charged with assault following an altercation with another woman, the Staten Island Advance reports. Ortiz, 30, was charged with misdemeanor assault and released on a desk appearance ticket.
Her arrest came just a few days after her 22-year-old husband was arrested on Saturday after he passed a stolen firearm to a teenager, according to police. Orta, 22, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in that incident and is being held on $75,000 bail. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday.
The couple says police have been harassing them since Orta was identified as the person who captured video of the NYPD arrest that led to the death of Garner, 43.
"They lying on me. They doing me wrong. I've been harassed by the police since this whole video emerged," Orta told the Daily News after his arraignment on Monday.
Ortiz appeared Wednesday on PIX 11, a New York TV station, to speak about her husband’s arrest. She said she was unable to talk about her own arrest but stressed that police orchestrated Orta’s. She also criticized the aggressive tactics of some of the NYPD officers that serve her community.
“It's not a good neighborhood," she said. "It's not. But the way the police were handling things ... they were taking advantage. They were treating us — civilians, period — like they didn't matter."
The Rev. Al Sharpton also criticized the charges brought against Orta, saying the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office was creating a conflict of interest by prosecuting Orta while also saying he is a witness in the Garner incident.
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Garner’s death a homicide on Friday.