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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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Ex-Cop Pleads To Manslaughter After Leaving Toddler In Hot Car To Have Sex

Former Mississippi cop Cassie Baker may spend 20 years behind bars for leaving her toddler in the backseat of a police cruiser while she had sex with her supervisor.

Little Cheyenne's body temperature rose to a scorching 107 degrees before she died on Sept. 30, 2016. When Baker returned to the vehicle four hours later, Cheyenne was unresponsive. Baker, 29, pled guilty to manslaughter in a reduced plea deal Monday. (March 18) It's unclear if she intentionally left her 3-year-old in the backseat of the car.

“I don’t know what I could ever do to you that could be worse than what you’ve already experienced,” Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois told her. “You will forever be entombed in a prison of your own mind.”

Cheyenne's father says he's still tormented by his daughter's death and often pictures her final moments.

“Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering, and then I picture her laying in this coffin,” Ryan Hyer said Monday. “I still see her smiling and laughing in my head, and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.”

Baker and her supervisor Clark Ladner were fired days later. While speaking with the Associated Press, he was able to avoid charges after telling authorities he was unaware Baker's daughter was in the car. Judge Bourgeois will consider the prosecution recommendation at Baker's April 1 sentencing.

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8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Champion's Big Win Helps His Family Out Of Homelessness

An 8-year-old Nigerian chess prodigy is helping his family out of homelessness. Tanitoluwa “ Tani” Adewumi, won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship last week, beating out more than 70 of the state’s top young chess players, all while living in a homeless shelter.

Tani, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, and his family fled Nigeria in 2017, reportedly out of fear of being targeted by Boko Haram. The family applied for asylum, and have since been living in a New York shelter.

The third grader learned to play chess a year ago at his elementary school, P.S. 116. Tani’s coach, Russell Makofsky marveled at his ability to learn chess so quickly. "His intellect, his aptitude, his capacity to learn chess is off the charts,” Makofsky said. “From not playing to beating the best of the best in one year is unheard of, all while living in a homeless shelter.”

Tani has been getting a lot of attention for his big win. A GoFundMe page launched on March 15 with a goal of raising $50,000 to help Tani’s family “secure a home where he can continue his journey,” has raised more than $182,000. An attorney has also agreed to work on the family’s asylum case for free, CBS News reports.

The family now plans to move into an apartment, and posted an update on the GoFundMe page Tuesday (March 19) sharing their gratitude for the donations, Tani’s chess coach, and the media for publicizing the story. “Our big shout out to the whole WORLD for all your support financially, morally, spiritually and many more can't [be] mentioned. You are all awesome. God bless you all.”

According to the post, proceeds from the crowdfunding effort will be donated to a new foundation that the family will be starting in Tani's name.

See more on his story below.

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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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