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 Pixiq.com 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 cops.

“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 here.

Video of Buehler's arrest:

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    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.

    Next contract the union is going to write in provisions that officer testimony trump all recorded evidence to the contrary so no LEO has to go through this citizen harrassment.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    So we can't see the evidence that would determine his guilt until his guilt is determined?

  • Suki||

    +1

    That bit struck me odd too. How the hell does a union contract trump the rights of the accused?

  • tarran||

    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.

    This is a pretty blatant violation of the 6th ammendment:

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    The government may not sign a contract with another entity like a labor union and thereby void its obligations under the bill of rights.

  • R C Dean||

    police department refuse to release any of the arrest videos to Buehler, or even let him watch them.

    Withholding potentially exculpatory evidence is a clearcut violation of due process rights, yes. His lawyer should be feasting on this.

    The arresting officer made multiple false statements in his report. I'm assuming there's a grand jury looking into false arrest, perjury, and whatever else can be brought against him? No, you say, there's no such thing?

    Color me shocked.

  • ||

    And nothing else happened. Badge-carrying cunts screw up another man's life.

  • Bryan C||

    They didn't kill him, just made him a felon for life. So there's really no harm done. And if they had killed him I'm sure it would've been for a good reason.

    Hey, are you a member of this union? No? Then why am I even talking to you?

  • ||

    Watch them do it anyway. I'm hoping that since it's Texas, though, the PD gets clusterfucked into backing down.

  • Coeus||

    It's Austin. The cops campaigned for a .05 BAC ticket and got it. They are now allowed to give you a ticket for .05, then tell you to drive away. You really think there are limits to their power?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    What is the justification? I realize that the real justification is to raise revenue, but what did they use as it? If it is that it is unsafe to drive at .05, then why would they let them drive away.

  • Coeus||

    The campaigning the Sheriff did for it was basically "This is a much need tool to help us keep our streets safe." No detailed explanation was ever given. And at no venue where he made this statement was he even asked.

  • mr simple||

    Seriously, how does this not raise flags during the negotiation. It's like neither the cops nor the legislators (whom I'm assuming had something to do with contracting municipal employees) know anything about the constitution or rights.

  • MisterDamage||

    "how does this not raise flags during the negotiation"

    Because neither party to the negotiation has the interests of the public as a factor in their deliberations.

  • Bryan C||

    Because it's not negotiation, it's collusion.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Auric Demonocles||

    According to a Pixiq.com article by Carlos Miller, a veteran cops and cameras journalist, police then stormed over to Buehler and accused him of interfering with the investigation.

    To be fair, when your emotions are as connected to the perceived size of your dick as a cop is, having someone video tape you is tantamount to psychological assault. Do you really want to let people assault cops during arrests?

  • The Fatman||

    Why isn't that fuckstick Dunphy on this thread? I'd love to hear his "explanation" for this dickless fuck wipe with a badge.

  • ||

    Why isn't that fuckstick Dunphy on this thread? I'd love to hear his "explanation" for this dickless fuck wipe with a badge.

    Dunphy has stated many times that recording the police is a good thing. If he chimes in here, I expect him to take issue with the way these cops behaved.

  • ||

    of course i do

    it's clear cut.

    recording the police is first amendment protected activity. i realize some jurisdictions have laws to the contrary... that's wrong, but either way, the issue here is that the cop almost certainly acted wrongly here, there is no way that recording the cop from that far away "interfered with the arrest".

    the cop, at a minimum, should be fired, if not brought up on criminal charges.

    if the cop lied on the police report, and it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (in regards to the loogie. there is some dispute as to whether the resolution can confirm this), then he absolutely 100% should be charged with filing a false report or whatever the relevant charge is

    iow, if there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he lied on the police report, he should be charged.

    no if's, and's or but's.

    many of reason's alleged police misconduct cases are anything but, to put it mildly. this case is easy

    the initial confrontation with this person was not justified, and if there is evidence the cops trumped up the charges, they should be criminally charged

    i am 100% consistent on this, whatever morons like "The Fatman" may believe

  • ||

    oh, and also ... dashcam video andor any other video in the police's possession should be publically available under FOIA.

    there may be issues as to when iow active investigation taking precedence, but certainly the person making the complaint against the police should have access to the dashcam video, no if's and's or but's.

  • ||

    iow, if there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he lied on the police report, he should be charged.

    "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard for conviction, not for laying charges.

  • ||

    correct. good point. the ethical constraints on prosecutors is that they should believe that they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    in my state that's the standard the prosecutor is supposed to meet. granted, we have informations, not indictments and generally don't use grand juries, whereas i suspect texas uses GJ's, but your point is a valid one

  • ||

    Is there anyone here who does not believe that Mr. Buehler would have been within his rights to resist this bogus arrrest (i.e., assault and false imprisonment) with whatever force necessary, up to and includung deadly force? Who believes that his right not to be assaulted and falsely imprisoned should be assertable only after the fact, in court?

    No?

    I didn't think so.

  • Coeus||

    Who believes that his right not to be assaulted and falsely imprisoned should be assertable only after the fact, in court?

    Well, dunphy's here, and if we can round up tulpa, that makes 2.

  • ||

    yes. i believe even if you believe the arrest to be unlawful (and note that due to imperfect information and basis of knowledge stuff, you rarely KNOW an arrest to be unlawful. at best, you usually can only suspect it, and can often be 100% wrong, even though you are acting in good faith. i say that as somebody who was detained at gunpoint despite being entirely innocent), you submit to the arrest and your place for redress is the courts.

    in this case, assuming it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the cop lied on his report, he should be criminally charged, and the lawsuit should be KICK-ASS.

    i also think a strong case can be made for stripping qualified immunity if the cop arrested somebody based on what he KNEW was a false arrest, and this can be proven. iow, the cop should be sued PERSONALLY

  • ||

    I guess that's where we differ. Especially in this case, where the arrest was premised on a "crime" both the officer and the arrestee knew never even occurred.

    I'd have been prefectly happy is Mr. Buehler had killed Mr. Oborski with his own gun.

  • jasno||

    You go, tuff gai.

  • ||

    You go, tuff gai.

    Is that your way of saying you disagree?

  • Coeus||

    Can you think of another way to stop his behavior? The current checks don't seem to be doing anything at all.

  • ||

    submitting to the arrest, will not "stop his behavior". resisting MIGHT

    but the possible ramifications of resisting are too severe. submit to the arrest, and seek redress

    it's an imperfect system

  • John C. Randolph||

    the possible ramifications of resisting are too severe. submit to the arrest, and seek redress

    I think we learned in the 1930s, and many times since then, that "just do what the bad man says" is a losing survival strategy.

    -jcr

  • ||

    that's absurd. wearing handcuffs for a trip down to jail and then bailing out is not the end of the world

    and then you seek redress

  • ||

    A few cops getting their asses beat for trying to effect a wrongful arrest, with no consequences for the would-be arrestee, is not the end of the world.

  • John C. Randolph||

    As I've often said, we'd only have to tar and feather a handful of them every couple of years to make the rest of those assholes clean up their act.

    -jcr

  • gaoxiaen||

    Of course, he may not survive resisting an unlawful arrest.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Barry should step in and do something about this travesty of justice.

    What? It won't help him get re-elected? Well, fuck it, then.

  • Coeus||

    at best, you usually can only suspect it, and can often be 100% wrong, even though you are acting in good faith. i say that as somebody who was detained at gunpoint despite being entirely innocent),

    Your personal case of mistaken identity has no bearing on the events that occurred to Mr. Buehler. And you realize this. You even admited that:

    the initial confrontation with this person was not justified

    But since your defending a practice which results in unchecked police power, I guess you feel it ok to contradict yourself.

    in this case, assuming it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the cop lied on his report,

    From the article: When Buehler stood his ground, the cops argued that the Texan was “getting in [their] faces”

    Since we have video proof that he did not, in fact, "get in their faces" then they were obviously lying. Yet they state that the allegations against the officer weren't verified. Where's this mythical check on cops that's sufficient to force a citizen to abrogate his right to self defense?

    I see you saying "should" a whole lot on this thread. Well, until "should" becomes "is", all you're advocating is an abrogation of the right to self defense, because it makes a cops job easier.

  • Coeus||

    That was to dunphy. I fucked up the threading.

  • ||

    That was to dunphy. I fucked up the threading.

    You fucked up the threading, but you were spot on otherwise.

  • ||

    the point is that almost always you suspect an arrest to be bogus, the cops will have PC. that's their standard

    redress is for the courts, not for the streets.

    cops shouldn't be seeking street justice nor should you

    again, it's not that i don't empathize with the person being falsely arrested, it's that resisting is going to cause more problems than solutions. there are avenues for redress

  • Coeus||

    the point is that almost always you suspect an arrest to be bogus, the cops will have PC. that's their standard

    Yeah, yeah, PC. I know. "There have been burglaries in the area". Look at that, I've got PC. Fuck that shit. No, the point is that this behavior won't stop until they stand to lose a few pints of their own blood for doing it.

    again, it's not that i don't empathize with the person being falsely arrested, it's that resisting is going to cause more problems than solutions. there are avenues for redress

    Look at how Indiana has shaped up. They now serve every warrant with a uniform on, and there hasn't been a wrong door raid since the law passed. I can see why you'd be against it, as it puts the burden of civil behavior on the police. It's the opposite of the current laughably titled "avenues for redress", wherein there were no repercussions and they wouldn't even fix the fucking door they broke.

  • RFID||

    I'm sort of with Dunphy on this. I don't think there is anything morally wrong with leadifying the officer who is trying to arrest you on some bullshit excuse. You should have the right to resist a kidnapper, no matter what costume he is wearing. The problem is that the police will most likely kill you on the spot for doing this, and you'll never get your day in court.

    So, should it be illegal? No. But even if it was legal, I think it would be a bad idea.

  • burnt||

    According to the USC case John Bad Elk vs. something something you do have the RIGHT to forcibly resist UNLAWFUL arrest.
    Of course the penalty for error, or even being right, is likely to be so high that in practice its basically suicide to try.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Taking pictures isn't probable cause, shithead.

    -jcr

  • ||

    i never said it was.

    as i said, i believe that atfpapic, there was no pc for his arrest

  • ||

    there was no pc for his arrest

    . . . which means that not only was it not a wrongful arrest made in good faith, but that it was concocted on the spot simply to show Mr. Buehler who was boss . . . which makes it nothing more than a common assault . . . which in a just society, Mr. Buehler would be free to resist, using whatever force is necessary to do so.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The point is that you have to survive the encounter to get your day in court.

  • ||

    i saw an advertisement for a phone and a key selling feature was the app that automatically uploaded to the net as you recorded.

    imo, if you are going to record police (or any sort of conduct by govt. officials or i guess private actors too), this is a great option, because as you record, it's being PERMANENTLY uploaded elsewhere, whihc means it's a lot "safer" from erasure etc.

    very cool feature.

  • John C. Randolph||

    If there were a justice system in this country, Beuhler would not only be a free man, he would be a free man who stood to acquire the entirety of the assets of his attacker, who would be cooling his heels in jail for a couple of decades.

    -jcr

  • Coeus||

    Check out how angry these cops get when a biker does something to them that I see them doing almost every day (slowing down in front of you and making you pass them).

  • Suellington||

    The comment section there is like a weird cop filled parallel universe to this one.

  • Pagan Priestess||

    It's PoliceOne. If you want to retain any illusions that police are polite, conscientious, servants of the public good; with only the best of intentions; and respectful of rights of citizens; you should absolutely NOT read the comments there.

  • MikeHansonArchives||

    I've spent hours going through the police one site. Very disturbing.
    Here's the psychopathic type stuff they think is funny.
    http://www.policeone.com/patro.....f=homepage

  • gaoxiaen||

    Warrants? We don't need no stinking warrants.

  • Coeus||

    Man impersonating officer pulls over an off duty cop.

    There's one of these stories almost every week. It's telling that the ones they find who are obviously speeding keep turning out to be off duty police officers. If the cops were smart (bizarro universe, I know), they'd use this to justify their generally shitty driving.

  • MikeHansonArchives||

    Please sign the petition to help Antonio Buehler!
    http://www.petitionbuzz.com/pe.....iopetition

    Here is a playlist of 18 videos that Chronicles Antonio's Case.
    http://www.youtube.com/playlis.....38E6AD5DA6

    Stay up to date with this story by joining the Free Antonio Buehler Facebook Group.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/350955711587953/

  • JHernan||

    Is he facing 10 years for the spitting charge or for recording the cops? Looks to me like it's all about the spitting, "a third degree felony charge".

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's all bogus, but it doesn't appear that Texas has bullshit video laws as much as it does at least one cop that needs to be fired.

  • ThomasD||

    "...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."

    Amazing, a record of public servants performing public duties, paid for by taxpayer dollars, is not only not public, but is kept private at the behest of a third party - a government worker union no less.

    Public worker unions are a bigger racket than la Cosa Nostra.

  • Despiser||

    The COPS should be imprisoned for LIFE. At some point America is going to go to war with these criminals that wear a badge. These losers point a gun at my head to steal from me then try to tell me that they are here to protect US??? No to protect them and their corrupt Unions. Imagine for just a second how many innocents are sitting in JAIL THAT DIDNT HAVE A VIDEO CAMERA.

  • cdog||

    Find out who they are, where they live and kill them. That's how this abuse stops.

  • ||

    It is clear the officers lied. It is clear that their behavior was criminal and they should be charged. Buehler should be cleared and the Police union should be run out of town on a rail. The rest of the PD should be schooled on cameras recording them.

    However y'all are overreacting a bit with the kill the cops bit. Geez. Buehler was not beaten or shot or even injured.

    And....whose fucking idea was it to have that music overlay the video? God that was fucking annoying.

  • Free Society||

    Even if he did spit in the cop's face, which he clearly didn't, 10 years of ones life is grossly disproportionate to the crime. If a cop spits in my face, does he lose ten years of his life?

    If some random dude spits in my face (I'm not a cop) does he lose 10 years of his life?

    Moreover, that cop deserves more than spit on his face.

  • Antonio Buehler||

    I wanted to inform you that the link to Carlos Miller's article has changed. It is now http://photographyisnotacrime......g-arrest/.

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