Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Texas Man Faces 10 Years in Prison for Recording Cops

Texas Man Faces 10 Years in Prison for Recording Cops:
An Iraq War veteran faces ten years in prison after snapping
photos of police making an arrest.
Antonio Buehler was pumping gas last New Year’s Eve when he
caught sight of two Austin, TX cops
“manhandling a woman” during a DUI investigation. Buehler, a
resident of Austin, pulled out his cell phone and began taking
pictures of the arrest. This is where the trouble began.
According to a article by Carlos Miller
, a veteran cops and cameras
journalist, police then stormed over to Buehler and accused him of
interfering with the investigation. When Buehler stood his ground,
the cops argued that the Texan was “getting in [their] faces”. In
the police report, Officer Pat Oborski claims Buehler proceeded to
“spit in [his] face”. This, of course, gave officers the right to
put Buehler under arrest for harassment of a public servant—a third
degree felony charge.
What Officer Oborski didn’t realize, however, is that other
cameras were rolling during the altercation with Buehler. And video
shot by a witness standing across the street show a different scene
than what was painted in the police reports. In the report, Oborski
claimed Buehler shoved the officer, and then proceeded to spit on
the officer. While the low quality of the cell phone video makes it
difficult to detect any loogies hawked, what we can see is Oborski
pinning Buehler against his car, followed by wrestling him down as
he straps handcuffs on his wrists. Furthermore, Austin Police
Department’s spokesperson Anthony Hipolito admitted that dash
videos show no evidence of Buehler’s alleged expectorations,
meaning Buehler was unlawfully arrested. So should Buehler be
a free man?
Not according to the cops. Though the spokesman Hipolito said he
saw no spit, the police department refuse to release any of the
arrest videos to Buehler, or even let him watch them. According to
Buehler, this policy comes from a police union contract, where the
investigations into his arrests will only be made public if
allegations against the officer were verified.
On July 2, Buehler will plead his case before the Austin Citizen
Review Panel. And despite all of the idiocy he’s put up with,
Buehler remains optimistic. While waiting to go to trial, Buehler
created Peaceful Streets,
a program that teaches Austinites about their rights in police
encounters. He hopes to get enough support to hand out more than
100 video cameras to Austin residents so they can keep an eye on
“We want to encourage people to take their liberty and security
in their own hands,” Buehler told Miller in his interview.
Check out Carlos Miller's tips on how to photograph cops

Video of Buehler's arrest: