AUSTIN -- Antonio Buehler, the Austin activist who made a name for himself by filming Austin police arrests, is free from the Travis County Jail after being arrested Sunday. KVUE was there late that night as Buehler walked out, giving brief comments to supporters outside the Travis County Justice Complex.
An Austin police lieutenant said in a phone conversation Sunday that Buehler faces a misdemeanor charge for interfering with public duties. Later that day, police charged Buehler with resisting arrest after reviewing video filmed by an officer.
Buehler founded the Peaceful Streets Project, which advocates for the filming of police officers. The interaction that allegedly led to his arrest happened on Sixth Street early Sunday morning.
Police filed an affidavit with the details of the arrest Monday where an officer accuses Buehler of interfering with their duties on an already packed Sixth Street. Buehler's attorneys said he was not interfering with any duties the cops may have had at the time.
"When they arrested him back in 2012 it was for interference, and the Travis County Attorney's Office refused to accept those charges," Buehler's lawyer Millie Thompson said. "Instead, they then tried to prosecute him for disobeying a police officer under the municipal code. And when they tried to do that, he was acquitted on one, and the rest of the cases were dismissed. So they have been unsuccessful with this tactic they have had against people who film police, specifically Mr. Buehler."
A YouTube video surfaced Sunday that shows the interaction between Buehler and an Austin police officer. Austin police booked Buehler at around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.
"It is absolutely necessary that we have video evidence, and if police officers are going to delete it or in any way tamper with it, it's important we the public can control that information and control the video that is out there," Thompson said.
Buehler faces charges of interfering with public duties and resisting arrest.
Buehler's name surfaced on New Year's Day in 2012 after police arrested him for a felony harassment charge after he allegedly spit on an officer's face. Buehler has since been acquitted of the charge.