The indispensable Carlos Miller reports on yet another case where the police arrested someone for photographing them manhandling a suspect during an arrest, then apparently lied on the police report to make it sound as though the victim was the aggressor.
It was just after midnight on New Year’s Day when Antonio Buehler spotted a pair of Austin cops manhandling a woman at a gas station during a DUI investigation, so he pulled out his cell phone and began taking photos.
That, of course, prompted one of the cops to storm up to him and accuse him of interfering with the 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.
So he started looking for witnesses and, lo and behold, someone across the street had captured the whole thing on a cell phone camera:
By January 4, he had obtained a video from a witness who had been standing across the street watching the exchange between Buehler and Oborski.
The video doesn’t show Buehler spitting on the cop but it might be difficult to capture that from across the street with a cell phone camera.
However, it does show Oborski pinning Buehler against the truck, making it obvious that the cop had stormed up to him rather than the other way around.
But in the arrest report, Oborski claims that Buehler was “in my face,” which is why he had to place his hands on his shoulders to “distance him away.”
Oborski also claimed that he wiped his face after Buehler had supposedly spit on him, then pulled out the handcuffs to arrest him, but the video doesn’t show that either.
And unsurprisingly, the police are refusing to let Buehler see any of their evidence, including video:
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.
But as we’ve seen so many times before, internal affairs did not substantiate a single one of Buehler’s complaints against the officers.
Not only that, but the letter dated June 15 also informed that he would be forbidden to “view, posses or receive copies of the Internal Affairs Division’s investigation.”
Abuse their authority, lie about it, then circle the wagons and pretend it never happened. Par for the course, unfortunately.