Austin Man Faces 10 Years for Photographing a Cop

We are seeing too many stories about people being arrested for standing in a public place and taking photos or video of police, but this story out of Austin goes farther than any I have seen before.

Antonio Buehler saw two police officers handling a drunk woman a little rougher than he thought they should have been so he pulled out his cell phone and started snapping photos.  The police didn’t care for that.  One accused him of interfereing with an investigation:

Austin police officer Pat Oborski shoved Buehler against his truck before handcuffing him. He later claimed in his arrest report that Buehler had spit in his face.

Buehler was charged with resisting arrest and felony harassment on a public servant, the latter punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

After spending 16 hours in jail, Buehler began seeking witnesses to the incident.

“We started posting flyers around the gas station,” Buehler said in an interview withPhotography is Not a Crime Sunday afternoon.

“I went on Facebook and on Twitter and I put something up on Craig’s List.”

After reaching out, this video surfaced.  It was take across the street by another witness who captured it with their cell phone:

Buehler also attempted to obtain Oborski’s dash cam video through a public records request, but that request was denied after the city attorney consulted with the Texas attorney general.

Buehler then filed an internal affairs complaint against Oborski in late January thinking that the cell phone video – coupled with dash video and audio from the patrol car, the footage from the gas station surveillance camera and audio from a recorder Oborski was wearing on his uniform – would prove that he was unlawfully arrested.

Buehler did tell the cops to stop manhandling the woman, but that isn’t grounds for arrest.  Nor is taking photos of a police action in public.

If you think you might ever be in the same situation, and if you have a cell phone with a camera, you might, print out this paper explaining your rights as a photographer.  Understand what you can and can’t do and you can avoid breaking the law.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1564304908 Jean Pauley

    wrong!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629489054 Sam Creecy

    Photographing a cop is an issue? It should be the other way around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000126821082 Gannon J Fitzgerald

    So sick of power hungry thugs we call policemen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451046084 Marsha Tyler Ronquist

    No I had not. But will stay alert.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000136652616 Travis Grant

    This is unconstitutional. A frivolous lawsuit on the part of the state. They know DAMN WELL that public servants have no reasonable expectation of privacy on public property. Somebody should find the cocksucker nazi d.a. bringing this case and pistolwhip his ass to death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000136652616 Travis Grant

    Yes, I said it. ME. If anybody out there has a problem with it I’m just waiting here cleaning my rifle…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1080861918 Jeff Maahs

    It’s like the Voter ID law. They are only against it because they want to cheat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1612389562 Roy Smith

    just another example of fine police work. most of them take the job because they can get respect in the real world so they become a cop where you are forced to respect them or face their wrath. seen it many times myself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1612389562 Roy Smith

    *cant get respect

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=524495486 Matt Stevenson

    It started happening around 2003, along with photographers being arrested for photographing bridges, airports, etc. National security, you know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000531874584 Jerry N Rhonda C

    UNcontrolled chaos, courtesy of Obama/Chicago

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000790114996 Katie Rodgers

    the policemen are not the problem—-THE GOVERNMENT IS

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000664675318 Fred C. Adam

    The old story line from visitors to communist states was that you could not freely take photos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1404755784 Sara Haugen

    So our taxpayer dollar police officers are sending the people to jail for taking a picture of them? Hmmmm, we employ them, not the other way around. When are we going to find our balls and demand the people who work for us since we pay their salary to protect, serve, and do their jobs? WAKE UP!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=625047297 Jim Richardson

    And cops wonder why they’re not liked?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=600211467 Mike Rogowski

    Thats fucked up. They deserve to be photographed/videotaped because theyre often corrupt

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595891018 Heidi Carico

    I don’t take photographs anyway so this doesn’t apply to me. But it’s just a precursor of the oppression ahead of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1496322239 Ken Collopy

    Your observation is accurate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1372342845 Michael Lebeau

    This is why I believe that ANY public servant caught violating the public trust in any way should be immediately fired and never again allowed to be employed by any public organization ranging from garbage man to the president. Further to that, they are self policing – yea right, like the coyote guarding the hen house from other coyotes. Trust the government or any of its representatives in any form of professional capacity? I think not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1372342845 Michael Lebeau

    This is why I believe that ANY public servant caught violating the public trust in any way should be immediately fired and never again allowed to be employed by any public organization ranging from garbage man to the president. Further to that, they are self policing – yea right, like the coyote guarding the hen house from other coyotes. Trust the government or any of its representatives in any form of professional capacity? I think not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620817810 Mike Schmolt

    Cops have always been like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1663720453 Max Jr NC

    most cops shouldnt be cops………….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000417372956 Gabe Barlow

    Is this the military LT that interfered? Sounds familiar. I don’t care what he thinks the cops were doing wrong. Let them do their job. You are allowed to film the police, yes. But I think the police that are struggling with the woman are in a better place to decide what’s excessive and what isn’t.

    Police can use objectively reasonable force to overcome the resistance of someone they are arresting. The spitting/alleged lying us a separate issue.

    Come on Grassfire, you are better than this. This is the second negative portrayal of police in the last 2 days. Police are not the enemy. And a military officer should definitely know better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1530753075 Bert Nichols

    Punished, hell they should be FIRED. A clear abuse of power………..sort of like Obama!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001451616224 Jeff Cooper

    censorship

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190763080 Brittany Savage

    1double bacon cheeseburger. Its for a cop!