Antonio Buehler, a veteran who served in Iraq, was at an Austin, Tx., gas station early in the morning on Jan. 1, 2012, when he saw police officers arresting a woman.
As the woman yelled for help, Buehler began filming the arrest with his cell phone because he believed the woman was a victim of police brutality.
Democracy Now aired a video (below) today from a police officer's dashcam, which recorded part of the arrest and Buehler's efforts to film it.
One of the officers claimed Buehler spat on him and arrested him for "harassment of a public servant." In 2013, a grand jury dismissed the felony charge, but charged Buehler with "failure to obey a lawful order," which is a misdemeanor.
The "lawful order" was when an officer told Buehler to put his hands behind his back, making it impossible to film the police.
Buehler, a graduate of West Point and Stanford University with no criminal record, was found not guilty of the misdemeanor by a jury today, reports the American-Statesman.
"I think that it all revolves around the fact that police officers don’t like to be held accountable, and prosecutors tend to cover for corrupt police officers," Buehler told Democracy Now today.
Since his arrest three years ago, Buehler has co-founded the Peaceful Streets Project, which encourages and trains people to film police and place their videos on the web.
According to Buehler, the Austin Police Department has labeled him and the Peaceful Streets Project a "domestic terrorist threat."
"That came from the Austin Police Department, one of the officers who arrested me for filming," said Buehler. "His name is [Austin Police Officer] Justin Berry. He created a PowerPoint presentation, presented it to the regional fusion center. And in it, they said that I was a domestic terrorist threat, as was the Peaceful Streets Project, because we go out and film cops. They said that we were a threat to all police officers and we’ve encouraged violence against police officers, which is just not true."
According to TechDirt.com, Buehler, the Peaceful Streets Project and several other citizen cop watch groups were listed in a memo by Officer Berry as being a "possible and imminent threat on officers and their families."
Officer Berry also listed Buehler and the Peaceful Streets Project as being part of "local sovereign citizen activists" who are "working towards the national 'patriotic' revolution movement that can currently be seen in Madrid, Spain."
However, there is nothing that Officer Berry describes on the Peaceful Streets Project website.