By: Julie Wilson and John Bush
Police accountability activist and founder of the Peaceful Streets Project Antonio Buehler has struck back against the legal system yet again and won, well sort of won. Previously, Buehler was charged with a felony for spitting on a police officer, but charges were dismissed in April. This time Buehler found himself at the mercy of the legal system yet again for exercising his first amendment rights at a court watch in Gonzalez, Texas. On March 13 Buehler was exiting the courthouse premises when a police officer told him if he returned he would face criminal charges, Buehler told the officer to go F himself and was subsequently arrested. Yesterday Buehler represented himself in the Gonzalez court room for a trial that lasted seven hours. The judge who oversaw the trial was the same judge who on March 13th had confiscated Buehler’s camera and threatened him with arrest for filming in her courtroom. Even though 2 of the 6 jurors had police officers in their families, the trial concluded with a guilty verdict and a $1 fine as a penalty. Buehler, who represented himself, used jury nullification and an appeal to the first amendment as a defense. Buehler plans to appeal the $1 fine.