Activists arrested for filming police


Nathan Goldsmith

Antonio Buehler speaks with supporters after his release from Travis County jail Friday afternoon. Buehler was arrested near the 1300 block of West Sixth Street at approximately 1:30 a.m. Friday morning.

David Maly

Police said a UT art history graduate student and a 35-year-old man were arrested while filming Austin Police Department officers Friday.

Antonio Buehler and Sarah Dickerson were both arrested around 1:30 a.m. near the 1300 block of West Sixth Street and charged with interfering with public duty — a class B misdemeanor punishable with a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail, according to police. Both Buehler and Dickerson were released on bond later that day.

Buehler and Dickerson were filming Austin police officers conducting a field sobriety test at a driving-while-intoxicated stop on West Sixth Street, when an officer involved in the stop asked them to back away.

It is not illegal to film police officers in the city of Austin unless it begins to interfere with a police investigation, police said.

Police said Buelher and Dickerson failed to follow a police order to move to a specific location while filming, causing their arrest. Buehler and Dickerson said they followed orders and were arrested anyway.

Since Buehler’s first arrest in January, he has founded the Peaceful Streets Project, a grassroots organization that works to increase police accountability. The coalition films officers and works to better educate the community about their legal rights.