Texas Man Arrested Five Times In One Month for Recording Public Officials
It's hard to keep up with Jesus Padilla and number of times he's been arrested conducting First Amendment audits around the San Antonio, Texas area.
Padilla, the 27-year-old husband and father of four children, says he started using a camera to hold public officials accountable after years of negative interactions with police.
He says he was inspired to begin recording public officials by watching YouTube videos of other citizens conducting First Amendment audits.
So he started a channel of his own under the username Mexican Padilla where he conducts First Amendment audits in both English and Spanish, posting his first video on April 9, 2018.
Since then, Padilla has been arrested five times for video recording public officials and posting the videos on his YouTube channel, where he has just over 8,000 subscribers at time of this writing.
On April 21, Padilla was arrested for recording inside a post office in the city of Helotes in Bexar County. He was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. Those charges were dismissed.
On April 30, he was arrested by San Antonio police for an incident that took place two days earlier where police had the chance to arrest him then. He was charged with interfering with a public servant.That charge is still pending.
On May 2, he was arrested for recording inside the Leon Valley Police Department while he was accompanied by a news crew from Univision and was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest and on a warrant for harassment. Those charges are also still pending and the agency still has possession of his GoPro, a Nikon camera and two phones.
And on May 7, he was arrested by Bexar County sheriff's deputies who claimed they had a warrant for his arrest, only to release him 20 minutes later after acknowledging there was no warrant.
He was also banned from every public building in the city limits of Leon Valley, including city hall, the police department and the public library.
Padilla is still in search of a criminal defense attorney to help deal with the charges that have not yet been dropped. He says that his legal issues will not stop him from continuing to record.