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Ramsey Orta, Man Who Recorded Eric Garner’s Death, Fears For His Life In Prison

“They know this is how to kill me, by getting me to kill myself.”

Ramsey Orta, the man who recorded Eric Garner being killed by an NYPD officer, fears for his life behind bars. Orta, who is currently serving out a four-year sentence at the Groveland Correctional Facility on drug and weapons charges, spoke with The Verge about being targeted by corrections officers, including threats, beatings, being called racist names and having his food tainted.

“They f**k with my food,” he revealed. “They know I won’t eat what they give me, not since Rikers.”

Orta shared that after his 2015 arrest he was taken to Riker’s Island where he became an immediate target of CO’s who told him during intake, “you're ours,” and “not so tough without your camera.”

During one incident, Orta recalled watching inmates vomit blood from eating meatloaf (which he refused to eat) that was later found to be sprinkled with rat poisoning. Court documents filed a week later reportedly stated that the inmates suffered nausea, stomach pains, blood vomiting, dehydration, bloody diarrhea and nosebleeds.

According to Orta, he’s being harassed by CO’s and written up for small infractions, leading him to lose privileges. For example, Orta shared that he was punished with 60 days in solitary for smoking a cigarette in the wrong area of the prison. In another instance, CO’s inspected his cell and destroyed food items sent by his girlfriend. “They know this is how to kill me, by getting me to kill myself,” he said.

Orta doesn’t attempt to paint himself as having a perfect image. He’s a repeat criminal offender and admits to selling weed, pills, cocaine and other drugs, but he believes that police put him behind bars in 2015 on a “ridiculous” gun charge as a means of retaliation. According to Orta, cops pulled up on him in an unmarked van and arrested him after he sold weed to a 17-year-old girl. Police claim Orta was arrested during a stakeout, and that he was seen stuffing an unloaded .25-caliber semiautomatic weapon in the teenager’s pants. The gun had no bullets, no clip or fingerprints and was reported stolen in Michigan over a decade ago.

“I’m smart about certain things. I’ve been on the streets doing my dirt for a long time. So you have to understand how ridiculous this gun charge is,” Orta explained. “There’s no chance I’m dumb enough to give a girl a gun out in the open like that. The cops had been following me every day since Eric died, shining lights in my house every night. You think I’m walking around with a stolen gun that now they say wasn’t even loaded?”

Orta claims that a cop told him that he was better off committing suicide rather than being locked up with authorities controlling his every move. His mother apparently received a call that he was suicidal, which he believes was a tactic to kill him and make it look like a suicide. As a precaution, Orta made a video stating that if he dies in jail, it wasn’t by suicide. After posting bail from his initial bust (he pleaded not guilty to gun charges), Orta’s home was raided by police and his mother and brother were subsequently arrested for allegedly assisting in his drug deals.

Though he initially wanted to fight the charges, Orta took a plea deal to get the charges dropped against his mother. He is scheduled for release in December 2019.

Click here to read Orta's full interview.

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Connecticut School Employee Resigns After Racist Grocery Store Video Goes Viral

A  Connecticut resident has resigned from her position at the Hamden Public School District after a video posted to Facebook shows her using racial slurs and spitting on two black people while at a local Shop Rite.

According to The New Haven Register, Corinne Terrone who was a clerk in the district's central office, is seen with her two children when the confrontation erupts. Terrone uses the N-Word three times and spits at a black man and black woman. It's unclear how the clash begins.

After Terrone's first use of the slur, the man on video rushes toward Terrone as she attempts to take her phone out and record. “Put your hands on me, come on!” she says. He then slaps the phone out of her hand. That's the only physical encounter between the two caught on video.

The Facebook post, which has received more than 180,000 views, overwhelmingly supported the black man and woman. A spokesman for the school wrote on the district's website that Terrone "has been separated from employment effective immediately.”

“While it appears as though this happened after work hours on Friday evening, the Human Resource Director contacted the employee and arranged an investigatory meeting with her. Shortly after final arrangements were made for the investigatory meeting, the employee rendered her resignation effective immediately.”

Due to the fact that Terrone's children were present during the verbal assault, the district filed a report with DCF services.

Republican State Sen. Len Fasano and state Rep. Joseph Zullo released a joint statement condemning Terrone's language and behavior.

“What we saw in this video is repulsive and deeply offensive and does not represent the people of East Haven or our values. The behavior is shocking and upsetting and has no place anywhere, including in our community,” Fasano and Zullo said in the statement. “We understand Hamden Public Schools has acted quickly to seek this employee’s resignation. East Haven police are also seeking more information and urging any potential victims or witnesses involved to come forward. Hate speech and violence will not be tolerated in our community.”

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Desislava Panteva

Louisiana Accidentally Paid It's Residents Double This Tax Season, To The Tune Of $26 Million

It's tax season and for most Americans the best time of the year to get a few extra coins put back into their pocket. If you're a Louisiana resident, however, you received double that in an unintended flub by the state.

According to reports, 66,000 taxpayers received double their state tax refund, totaling $26 million in overpayment. The state is now reportedly trying to get that money back.

The Division of Administration spokesman Jacques Berry blamed the blunder on a computer system malfunction, which is why so many residents had a healthier state refund.

Nola taxpayers shouldn't get excited just yet. Berry said in most cases the payments were made through the bank accounts direct deposit and can quickly be reversed. If the money isn't there, the bank will reportedly contact the individual about payment.

Berry released a statement admitting to the oversight.

“As the State of Louisiana continues to recoup more than $26 million to duplicate individual income tax refunds that were erroneously issued as the result of a computer error, taxpayers are being urged not to take any action. The vast majority of the duplicated funds are expected to be recovered electronically,” – Jacques Berry, Director of Policy and Communication

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Remains Of 2-Year-Old Noelani Robinson Found In Minnesota Ditch

A nationwide Amber Alert came to a tragic end Friday (March 15) when the body of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson was found wrapped inside of a blanket and placed in a Minnesota ditch. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office deduced little Noelani had been there for some time and died of blunt force trauma.

Authorities aren't sure how the child got into the ditch and if she was killed elsewhere, however, they suspect her father, 34-year-old Dariaz Higgins, who killed her mother, 24-year-old Sierra Robinson on Monday may have placed her there.

According to reports, Robinson became pregnant with Noelani while Higgins was her pimp. The couple stayed together after the child's birth but Robinson later decided to end the relationship and moved to Las Vegas last month leaving Noelani with Higgins

After getting settled, Robinson began trying to see Noelani. On March 9, she reportedly flew back to Milwaukee and stayed with a friend identified as LP. Two days later, Higgins agreed to let Robinson see the child. Higgins picked up Robinson and LP and they reportedly drove around  "talked about old times" and smoked marijuana.

Higgins then drove them to a nearby hotel where he shot Robinson in the chest and LP several times. Robinson died, but LP survived and gave authorities a statement. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales called Higgins " a stone-cold killer,” with ties "all the way down to Miami, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Kansas City. He’s been all over the place.”

Higgins confessed to killing Robinson. He's charged with first-degree murder but they're hoping in a forthcoming interview he'll offer details in his daughter's killing.

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