Founder of Peaceful Streets Project, Antonio Buehler has filed a suit against the City of Austin, the Austin Police chief and four APD officers over the right to film police officers during an arrest.
The lawsuit alleges that officers Patrick Oborski, Robert Snider, Justin Berry, and Adam Johnson violated Buehler's right to freedom of speech and right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure when they arrested Buehler for recording their conduct.
Buehler also claims that the city and police chief are liable because they failed to establish a policy guide when citizens record their conduct, failed to train and supervise the officers and ratified the officers conduct by failing to remedy the constitutional violations.
"I could not stand silent and watch a brutal attack on an innocent woman, and when I saw how officers reacted to my effort to stop their violence, I knew I had to take action to prevent this from happening again," Buehler said. "I learned that people were being arrested across the country for filming police, and I decided I had to file suit in order to stop the abuse of people who record the conduct of police officers in the hope of ending police brutality."
"It is the responsibility of lawyers to champion those who champion civil rights, social justice and equality for all humanity. Mr. Buehler and I both took an oath in the United States military to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Mr. Buehler has honored his oath with action," said Daphne Pattison Silverman, Counsel for Buehler.
Buehler and Silverman believe the lawsuit is necessary for transparency and accountability in government. They say their hope is that the lawsuit will result in clear policies, effective training, and a cultural shift in the police department to reflect a desire to respect the people and the law and to prove their respect by ending a fear of accountability.