Austin Police Arrest Peaceful Streets Founder Antonio Buehler Again
Just as he was cleared of all criminal charges hanging over him, Peaceful Streets Project founder Antonio Buehler was arrested again early this morning while recording police in Austin.
Also arrested was Mike “Bluehair” Smith of Film the Police Portland, who was in Texas joining the group of activists who regularly record police in Austin’s bustling entertainment district on 6th St.
The two, who are still in jail, were apparently charged with interference with public duties.
Videos that have surfaced so far show Buehler conversing with a group of cops, including a Sergeant Randy Dear, before he turns around and is arrested by several cops.
One cop knocks the camera out of his hand, which prompts Smith to reach out and grab it, leading to his arrest.
More videos are expected to be published online later today.
One of the videos that has been posted is actually a video of a video from a camera so the quality is not that great, but it shows Buehler holding a camera as he stands in front of Sergeant Dear in the middle of the crowded street around 2 a.m., just as the bars were closing and people were leaving.
The cop is talking about something before he orders Buehler to turn around, apparently to arrest him.
Buehler does turn around as if to walk away, but is grabbed by other officers who tackle him and pile on top of him as he lies facedown on the street, only a few feet away from a pile of police horse manure.
The arrest is Buehler’s sixth since his initial arrest on New Year’s Day 2012 when he began photographing Austin police aggressively arrest a woman at a gas station, leading to him getting arrested on a felony after he was falsely accused of spitting in a cop’s face. That arrested led him to launch the Peaceful Streets Project where activists go out and video record cops in public, which, of course, led to several more arrests.
Below is the contact info for the cop who had him arrested.
UPDATE: Buehler’s attorney asked his friends to remove the videos of the arrest, which is why two of the bottom three videos are now private.
The third video was uploaded to PINAC’s Youtube channel, which will remain up.
UPDATE II: As mentioned, the first two videos, which were hosted on Youtube channel that PINAC does not control, were made private at the request of Buehler’s attorney.
The third clip below is a video of a video of the arrest.
And the fourth video, which has just been added, is from a week earlier showing Sergeant Dear threatening to arrest Peaceful Streets activists for interference if they get too close, even though everybody else without a camera is walking within inches from police.
UPDATE III: Buehler has been released from jail. The fifth video below is an interview he gave to local media after walking out of jail.
UPDATE IV: Buehler last week wrote an opinion piece for PINAC on the Sandra Bland case, which can be read here.