Austin Activist Antonio Buehler Released from Jail

The co-founder of Austin's Peaceful Streets Project has been arrested again while filming officers on 6th Street and was released Sunday night.

Buehler walked out of the Travis County jail around 11:00 p.m. Sunday. A small group of friends gathered to greet him. Antonio Buehler is facing charges of resisting arrest and interfering with public duties.

"As plain as I can say it this was an illegal arrest," Buehler's lawyer Millie Thompson said.

Thompson said Sunday evening he was arrested while filming officers on 6th Street in downtown Austin on Saturday night. She said the officers weren't really doing anything. At some point they asked him to move and she said he did.

"But the officers weren't satisfied," Thompson said.

The officers arrested Buehler and originally charged him with interfering with public duties, but added the resisting arrest charge after reviewing police video, Thompson said.

Another man, Mike "Blue Hair" Smith, was also arrested for interfering with public duties. He was filming Buehler's interaction with police.{}

These are similar charges Buehler faced from an incident that happened New Year's Day, 2012. Buehler filmed police officers and then was arrested himself after a confrontation with the officers. That sparked a legal battle between Buehler and Austin Police which continues in 2015 with a civil rights lawsuit. Thompson said they're still appealing that case.

The case also led to Buehler co-founding the Peaceful Streets Project. The project's web site says its vision is "Through community organizing, engaging in non-political and non-violent direct action tactics, and utilizing new technologies, the Peaceful Streets Project seeks to bring about a culture shift where individuals understand their rights and hold law enforcement officials accountable, and communities protect and serve each other."

Thompson emphasized this new arrest is illegal.

"If there's not a reason to tell you to move, or tell me to move. Then if they do that, then basically they're picking on you," Thompson said.

Thompson also said the new charge of resisting arrest, that was added on Sunday, doesn't change anything.

"Whenever APD trumps up these charges, it's not that hard to scrutinize them. So no, you can add as many cases as you like and the fact remains that this was an illegal arrest," Thompson said.

Thompson said these are similar charges to what Buehler faced in 2012, and they will fight them again.

"I think that APD has decided they are immune from any civil rights violations," Thompson said.

By Adam Hammons

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