Buehler's Case Dismissed
One charge down; more cases to come
By Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Jan. 9, 2015
A judge in Austin's municipal court accepted the state's motion to dismiss one set of charges against Peaceful Streets Project co-founder Antonio Buehler Friday, thereby nullifying the cop-watching activist's plans to spend much of the upcoming week arguing his case in court.
Buehler was not actually arrested for the acts that earned him a grand jury indictment of Interfering With a Police Officer (filming and eventually outing the undercover work of APD Officer Justin Berry on Aug. 24, 2012), but, as with his now iconic NYE 2012 arrest and later arrests on Aug. 26, 2012, and Sept. 21, 2012, he found himself facing class C misdemeanor charges for each incident.
Originally set for November, the hearing got pushed back after Buehler's late October acquittal on similar charges relating to his NYE arrest.
Buehler and his legal team weren't happy to learn that the judge dismissed the case; his attorney Millie Thompson went so far as to post on Facebook that she'd "never been so damned disappointed over a dismissal."
"I think this would have been a great opportunity for people to once again see how the Austin Police Department and city prosecutors use city ordinances to victimize people who have already been victimized by the police," Buehler added when interviewed Sunday. "It also would have opened people's eyes to how corrupt the grand jury process can be." He said he was looking forward to having a platform to "once again expose the APD as liars," and welcomed the opportunity to get Officer Berry on the witness stand.
Berry's testimony could have proved vital moving forward, as Buehler faces charges that he failed to obey the officer's orders during the aforementioned Aug. 26, 2012 arrest. He'll stand trial on those charges soon – he said Thompson has filed a motion demanding a speedy trial, though a court date has not yet been set – before eventually reconvening in court for his fourth and final Failure to Obey a Lawful Order charge, stemming from his Sept. 21, 2012 arrest.
Buehler filed a civil suit against the APD, Chief Art Acevedo, and Officers Berry, Patrick Oborski, Robert Snider, and Adam Johnson on Dec. 31, 2013. He said Sunday that he expects for that trial to be set some time in the spring, though it's unlikely to happen until all his class C misdemeanor charges have been finalized.
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