Alleged victim of police brutality launches Project Citizens - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Alleged victim of police brutality launches Project Citizens

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A man, who claims he is a victim of police brutality, is launching a project to arm 100 citizens with video cameras. He's even started training sessions.

If you search APD on YouTube you will find all sorts of videos.

In one clip officers are breaking up a fight on 6th Street. One of them uses their taser on a guy.

In another video in East Austin the photographer gets so close an officer asks, "Would you mind stepping back sir?"

One of the more recent additions shows a man named Antonio Buehler getting put in handcuffs at a 7-Eleven.

"I feel so blessed that there was a random citizen across the street that night," Buehler said.

He told us by phone that early New Year's Day he was filling up when he saw two APD officers being rough with a woman on a DWI stop. He reached for his phone and started snapping pictures.

"I reached for my camera because I felt there was nothing else I could do for her other than document it," said Buehler.

APD stands by the officers' actions. According to the arrest affidavit, it was Buehler who was in the wrong. Officers stated he was "verbally aggressive," in an officer's face, and spit on one of them.

A person across the street happened to get video of the arrest which Buehler thinks will clear him of the felony charge of harassment of a public servant.

"Now when I see a cop interacting with someone I pull out my camera," Buehler said.

In addition to purchasing a video camera, he has since created the group Peaceful Streets.

In a video he states his goal is to raise $10,000 to purchase 100 video cameras and distribute them to activists throughout the city.

On July 14, he will hold a training session.

"All we want is to level the playing field. We want people to be able to protect each other against police abuse," Buehler said.

Assistant Chief David Carter isn't worried.

"I think the police department is absolutely okay with that in the sense that we recognize people are filming us each and every day," Carter said.

All that he asks is that those doing the filming don't get too close.

"The officer may be in some danger, the public may be in some danger. I think if people want to film. That's fine. All we would ask is to keep a reasonable distance away," Carter said.

"A good cop can be honored, but we have to get the bad cops off the streets because until the bad cops are off the streets there is not going to be respect for the good cops that are out there," Buehler said.

Buehler did file a complaint with the office of the police monitor against the officers in that video. The case is still under internal review. He is due for court later this month.

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