AUSTIN (KXAN) — The founder of Peaceful Streets Project, a police accountability watch group, is suing the city of Austin and nine police officers claiming his civil rights have been violated multiple times because he formed the watchdog group.
Antonio Buehler filed the suit on Wednesday in federal court. The lawsuit claims Buehler has suffered retaliation for his attempts to film Austin police.
“Although Buehler did not commit any crime, and Buehler did not violate any ordinance, these officers decided to use unnecessary force in illegally arresting him,” stated in the suit.
The suit alleges there is a pattern to the Austin Police Department violating Buehler’s “first amendment constitutional right to film by falsely threatening to arrest and arresting citizens for filming police.”
Buehler founded the Peaceful Streets Project after he was arrested in 2012 for taking photographs of Austin police arresting a woman. Since then, he has been arrested several times.
In the lawsuit, Buehler claims he was found not guilty once and the charges were dropped in other cases. The plaintiff is seeking damages for pain and suffering and lost wages, among other things.
KXAN reached out to the city of Austin for a comment regarding the lawsuit. A city spokesperson said, “The City of Austin has not yet received the lawsuit, but we are aware of Mr. Buehler and the incidents and are prepared to the defend the City.”