The ongoing battle between activist Antonio Buehler and the Austin Police Department continues to escalate. Buehler was arrested for the third time this year early Friday morning. It’s his second arrest in as many months.
According to the Peaceful Streets Facebook page:
The arrest took place at 1219 W. 6th St. near Pressler after Peaceful Streets Project members pulled their car over to witness a DWI stop. They were approximately 30′ away from the detention when none-other-than Officer Oborski (the arresting officer of Buehler last New Year’s Eve-photo attached, taken by Buehler recently) shined a flashlight in Buehler’s face, yelling, “Mr. Buehler, back up!”
Buehler asked, “how far?” but Oborski didn’t respond. Buehler asked a second time, “how far?” while already backing up, yet still Oborski wouldn’t respond. By this time, Buehler and Dickerson were 40′ away.
This is Buehler’s second run in with the two officers Oborski and Johnson. Their first run-in was on New Year’s Eve, when they arrested Buehler for interfering in the arrest of two women during a DWI stop. Buehler claimed the officers were abusing the women. Several people took pictures and video of the event, including APD. APD has refused to release their video and his case has yet to go to a grand jury 9 1/2 months later.
Buehler started the Peaceful Streets Project after that arrest. He and volunteers spend night after night, with video cameras in hand, recording police actions along 6th Street. Their goal is to expose what they claim is systemic abuse by APD.
Right or wrong, Buehler has clearly become a thorn in APD’s backside. After his second arrest, police publically announced a new “60 feet” rule for Buehler and any other member of the public who records them in action. It essentially sets a perimeter around an arrest scene. But APD later backtracked and rescinded the rule because it was “impractical.” Buehler’s actions have had an effect on APD and has put them in a reactionary mode. Implementing a policy or rule, and then quickly rescinding it shows that perhaps the Austin Police Department doesn’t quite know how to deal with him.
Buehler is now facing three possible criminal charges. But if recent history is any indication, he isn’t going to stop. The question is, how far will the fight between APD and the activist go?