Austin Grand Jury Fails to Hold Accountable Aggressive Police, Indicts Peaceful Streets Activists

peaceful-streets-project-logoThis post comes to us from a press release sent-out by our friends active with Peaceful Streets Project on April 3rd, 2013



Four weeks after convening, the Travis County Grand Jury chose not to issue any felony indictments against Antonio Buehler or Austin Police Department (APD) Officer Patrick Oborski related to their New Year’s Day 2012 incident.

On New Year’s Day 2012, Oborski observed a car that was being driven without its headlights on West 6th street in downtown Austin, and pulled the car over at the 7-11 on N. Lamar and W. 10th Street. While Oborski was conducting a field sobriety test behind the vehicle, Norma Pizana who was a passenger in the vehicle, yelled from the passenger seat to the driver that the driver did not have to submit to a sobriety test. Oborski walked up to the car, leaned in and told Pizana not to “interfere” with his investigation, and then returned to the driver to continue the field sobriety test. However, according to the Penal Code, speech is not sufficient to “interfere” with an investigation, and Pizana was never charged with such a crime. After Pizana was told to stop attempting to communicate with the driver of the vehicle, APD Officer Robert Snider arrived on the scene and began to speak to Pizana.

Antonio Buehler, who was a designated driver that night, pulled into the same 7-11 as he was driving a friend home, in order to refuel the truck he was driving. When he finished fueling up, Buehler and his passenger, Ben Munoz, began to get back into their truck when they heard Pizana scream violently. They turned and saw Snider violently pulling Pizana out of the vehicle, and then throwing her down on the ground. As Pizana continued to cry out in pain, Oborski joined in and they began to apply continued upward pressure on her arms in what is considered a torture move by the U.S. Military and Federal Government. At that moment, Buehler tried to take pictures of what he believed was a violent assault. When Pizana noticed him taking pictures, she begged him to record the incident, and Buehler then began to demand that the cops stop abusing Pizana. Although Pizana was seated in her car, was not a threat to herself or the public, and her driver had not yet been arrested, she was arrested for Public Intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor.

After Snider and Oborski handcuffed Pizana and began escorting her to a squad car, Oborski turned and walked aggressively toward Buehler, got in Buehler’s face, and asked “who do you think you are?” Video shows that Buehler put his arms down by his side, with his palms forward in a non-threatening manner as he took a couple steps back, while Oborski continued to step toward Antonio and into his personal space. Video then shows Oborski violently thrusting his hands into the chest of Buehler a few times, pushing Buehler back until he was trapped between the bed of the truck he had been driving and Officer Oborski. After repeatedly and forcefully pushing Buehler in the chest, while Buehler kept his arms raised with palms facing forward, Oborski then attempted to arrest Buehler.

After Buehler was taken to the BAT Mobile and coerced into blowing into a breathalyzer machine, and being told by the technician that Buehler “broke” the machine by “blowing too hard”, he was then escorted to a transport vehicle where Oborski allegedly told Buehler that “you don’t f*** with police, you f***d with the wrong cop this time and now you’re going to f***ng pay”, after which he was transferred to Travis County Jail where he was charged with Felony Harassment of a Public Official, a 3rd Degree Felony, and Resisting Arrest, a Class A misdemeanor.

When Buehler was released from prison the next day, he was told by Ben Munoz that witnesses were present at the scene of the arrest, although the police prevented the witnesses from sharing their contact information with Munoz. Buehler immediately began to post fliers around the 7-11 location, and use social media to implore witnesses to step forward. Several witnesses did step forward, to include one who took cell phone video of the incident which proves that Oborski lied in his affidavit (Buehler never spit on Oborski; Oborski never wiped his face).

Despite about a half dozen witnesses that stepped forward willing to swear under oath that Pizana did not assault Snider and that Buehler did not spit in Oborski’s face, the cell phone video, the 7-11 surveillance video, audio from both Oborski and Snider, and self-incriminating lies written up in the affidavits of Oborski and Snider, the Austin Police Department and the District Attorney continued to press forward with the charges against Buehler and Pizana. In addition, 11 days after the initial arrests, and after Pizana shared her story of abuse with the media, the Austin Police Department filed two new charges against Pizana for resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order.

The Grand Jury did not indict Buehler for either the felony harassment of a public official charge or the resisting arrest charge. Instead they indicted him for failure to obey a lawful order, a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. The Grand Jury did not indict Pizana for public intoxication or failure to obey a lawful order. They did, however, indict her for resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the Travis County Jail.

In the 15 months since the New Year’s Day incident, Buehler and other Austin activists launched the Peaceful Streets Project to fight back against police abuse, corruption and misconduct. They have held over a dozen Know Your Rights Trainings, a summit where they handed out 100 video cameras to needy residents of Austin, dozens of Police Abuse Complaint Departments and scores of cop watch events.

[Related video from]

The Grand Jury also returned indictments against Antonio Buehler for failure to obey a lawful order, a Class C misdemeanor, for filming police on August 24th, August 26th and September 21st, 2012.  Sarah Dickerson was also indicted for failure to obey a lawful order while filming police during the September 21st, 2012 incident.

A City of Austin Municipal Ordinance requires a person to comply with an order of a peace officer and prohibits a person from obstructing or interfering with an officer engaged in his official duties.  Violation of this ordinance is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. However, there was no evidence that either Buehler or Dickerson ever obstructed or interfered with an officer engaged in his official duties. Further, Austin Police Department policy (p. 106) clearly states that officers are not to “[i]n any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording  officer’s enforcement activities”, which is exactly what APD did to Buehler and Dickerson in each one of the instances in which they were charged with “failure to obey a lawful order”.

In all, the Grand Jury met on six occasions and heard from 13 witnesses, including Antonio Buehler and Officer Patrick Oborski, although they did not hear from either Buehler or Dickerson regarding the post-New Year’s Day incidents, nor any of the Peaceful Streets Project volunteers who witnessed those incidents.  The felony charges considered by the Grand Jury were tampering with a governmental record by Officer Oborski as well as harassment of a public servant by Antonio Buehler.  The Grand Jury also considered whether Officer Oborski committed official oppression. However, the Grand Jury did not consider any charges against Officer Snider, nor did the Grand Jury did consider felony charges of Aggravated Perjury or Aggravated Assault against Oborski or Snider.

The Class A misdemeanor for Pizana will be transferred to County Court and will be handled by the County Attorney’s Office.  The Class C misdemeanor cases for Buehler and Dickerson will be transferred to Municipal Court where they will be handled by Municipal Court prosecutors.

Media Contacts:

  • Richard Boland, Peaceful Streets Project, 512.538.6998,
  • Antonio Buehler, Peaceful Streets Project, 512.785.3767,
  • John Bush, Peaceful Streets Project, 512.773.6102,
  • Harold Gray, Peaceful Streets Project, 512.949.8185,
  • Joshua Pineda, Peaceful Streets Project, 409.679.3065,

Austin Police Department:

Peaceful Streets:

Connect with known Peaceful Streets offshoots via:


Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.

Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.

  • underoath

    So they were indicted by a jury of their peers? I’ll be damned…who can we blame this one on?

  • Kaz

    I think this video sums it up the best when you leave your hopes in our jury system today.

    I would have to say that most people I talk to about police accountability generally side with police, sadly because our society has been trained to obey the orders of officers even if it violates your consitutional rights.

    Good luck to all those who leave their fate up to 12 people who may not even have be able to spell jury.

  • Shawn


    They side with police because they pay no attention to what goes on. More than once, I mentioned the newspaper ladies to people. But some hadn’t even heard.
    Nor did they hear about the cop who shot a woman in her own back yard.
    Nor did they hear about the girl burned with a flashbang over a nonexistent meth lab.
    Nor did they hear about the cop under investigation for seeking young girls online. When the investigators realized it was a cop, they ended the sting.
    Nor did they hear about…You get the idea.

    Ignorance is bliss, if you are a cop. But for lack of knowledge, the people perish.

  • rick

    The grand jury is different than a trial jury. In this case they only decide IF criminal charges should be brought against the accused. They are not proclaiming guilt.
    I’m curious what lawful order Buehler failed to obey. Once again, documenting police in the discharge of their duties is protected activity.

  • Kaz


    I agree with you one hundred percent. My point is that juries are made up of average people who generally do not know the law. I think that in order to win over a jury you have to bring yourself down to their level of knowledge. The procecutor will try to make the defendent out to be the worst person in the world, and the cops as hero’s.

    The goal is to turn the situation around.

    For example tell the jury that the judge and prosecutor do not want them to know how powerful they are. They can judge the law as well as the facts. Tell them that even the supreme court has ruled that police can lie to the public in order to get evidence for convictions. If you villify those who take away our rights you can win the hearts and minds of the jury. Leave the jury thinking that it is the law that is bad, and people who support it are immoral and wrong.

  • slappy

    What a cry baby. Watching the video only proves what an idiot he was. He was screaming and resisting arrest. He was thrown in jail and now he was found guilty and has to pay a fine. Maybe if this crybaby would grow up a little and stop acting like a jerk he wouldn’t have half the problems he thinks he has. He did it to himself and he ended up where he needed to be.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    Slapster, you are not worthy to empty the garbage cans in from of the house of West Point graduate and formerly Captain Buehler.

    You are living and posting proof that cop IQs are not nearly on a par with “Doctors and Surgeons” (sorry “t”, you’re as much of an idiot as the slapmeister). On par with Sturgeons I will agree.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    “in front of”. Darned autocorrect.

  • Steve H

    More municipal ordinance abuse of the 1st Amendment. A good 1st Amendment lawyer should go after the ordinances for unconstitutional/vague for infringing upon speech. Probably have a good chance to strike the statute. HOUSTON v. HILL, 482 U.S. 451 (1987)482 U.S. 451. However, if the jurisdiction attorney prosecuting the case discovers that the defense attorney is seeking injunctive and declaratory remedy, they usually drop the case to save the ordinance. That’s how these local ordinances can remain on the books for so long even though they violate speech and freedom of the press.

  • simpleton

    Hopefully he’ll take it to trial along with his video evidence and his credentials of being a West Point Graduate, War Vet, and Stanford University graduate. I think he’ll be fine. A jury of his peers will generally view those things as a positive aspect.

  • Buford T. Justice

    Silly Hippies…Guess the legal system works in Texas

  • 2 to Body-1 to Head

    Oh Antonio, you are gonna be so popular in the jail. All those bad, bad boys watching your skinny little hinder in that orange jumpsuit with all that long, dark hair. Yum, yum! I bet you learn real quick how to sleep with one eye open, and I bet you’ll not step into the shower a single day that you are incarcerated. If you’re lucky the CO’s will let it slip that you are an “Activist.” I’m sure that will put you in good standing with all the murderers, rapists, and drug dealers that share your cell block. Have fun!!

  • Steve H

    A person commits an offense if the person knowingly fails or refuses to comply with an order or direction of a peace officer that is given by a visible or audible signal. Austin municipal code 9-4-51.

    This ordinance is about as vague as they come. What if the leo orders me to use his gun to rob the liquor store? This ordinance doesn’t define what a lawful order is?

    There’s no jail time, so this must be like a traffic ticket in most states, fine up to 500 dollars.

  • t.

    Sounds like a resounding rejection of the pot heads and their “unpeaceful streets” project. You guys can think that you represent a vast number of people…but the truth is, that they want more of me…and far less of you.

  • certain

    You’re absolutely right, Shawn. I automatically assumed the cops were generally in the right, and if on a jury, you’d have been hard pressed to get me to side with the “criminal” no matter what the claims were.

    But then I had my own encounter with a law-breaking cop, and although very minor in the overall scale of things, it did cause me to open my eyes and look around a bit. I rapidly became very dismayed and angered by what I saw. But this last thing in Torrance, where cops OPENLY committed attempted murder on 2 completely innocent newspaper ladies, and from all appearances they are not even going to be charged with a crime. Far from feeling any kind of protection, I really do feel that my family and I are in more danger from this pack of ass-clowns than the average thug on the streets. The concept of “officer safety” has become some sort of holy grail, allowing cops to do anything, to take any hostile action, based upon the premise of “Well, I’m going home tonight”. What about the innocent people they kill by “mistake”? What about their right to go home to their families?

    The real tragedy here is that most people are not going to realize the danger they are in, until it is far too late. Well, I have always wanted to retire to the South Pacific anyway. I’m just going to have to speed things up a bit in getting there.

  • t.

    Maybe we can get you some donations to speed up your departure.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    Why don’t you use your surgeon like IQ to address his point?

    “The concept of “officer safety” has become some sort of holy grail, allowing cops to do anything, to take any hostile action, based upon the premise of “Well, I’m going home tonight”. What about the innocent people they kill by “mistake”? What about their right to go home to their families?”

  • Common Sense

    2 to the body – nice title

    Oh, ha ha ha. Silly hippy.

    Did anyone ever hear of AB’s failed businesses and $700,000 lawsuit his partner filed against him? Makes for good reading.

  • t.

    I didn’t address his “point” because he doesn’t have one.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    So like all cops, you are a worshipper at the altar of “Officer Safety” above public safety.

  • t.

    At times.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    That’s really all we need to know about you to dislike you. That and our jealousy over your near surgeon level IQ.

  • slappy

    He’s no West Point graduate. He is a stupid ignate who thinks he’s about the law. He’s just another hippie activist who would rather go around smoking weed and hugging trees instead of making something of himself. I’m sure his parents are proud. I doubt they even recognize him as their son. What it basically is, you were acting like a dumb ass, you were arrested. You whined and cried about everything and were still found guilty. Grow up hippie.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    West Point grad, combat vet, Ranger, Airborne.

    Does it hurt to be as stupid as you are?

  • Common Sense

    If she’s so smart, they why does every business venture she starts, collapses? Why does she continue to be not only arrested, but found guilty?

    …oh, sorry, “he”

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    Not everyone has a safe, secure job in the semi-skilled trades like you do. Metalworking isn’t for everyone.

  • Robert49

    @slappy, Really sad there are Americans as stupid as you are that don’t know the difference between a grand jury and trial jury. Only one of those juries can decide guilt or innocence and you are so stupid you don’t know which one can convict and which one can’t!

    Hahahahahahaha, you dumb as a rock moron!

  • Robert49

    @slappy that is a good ID for you dumb ass! Someone slapped you so much you think you should be refered to as slappy! Now go back and play in your sand box jr. It’s retarded Americans like you that are bring this nation down to the level of moronic of stupidy as you show! You already proved how stupid you are that you don’t know the difference between a grand jury and a trial jury which I doubt from your dumb as remarks to the like that you never served on either!
    What is your reading level Jr? Marvel comics?

  • Robert49

    t. who do you represent? Marvel comic book level readers? I think so! Go back and play in your sand box jr!

  • Robert49

    @2 to Body-1 to Head
    are you that stupid? I think so because it seems so! You must have been sexually abused as a child or you get off on abusing them! Dumb shits like you are why America is becoming the laughing joke of the whole planet!
    You must be a part of the marvel comic book leveling reading club too! Now go back and play in your sand box jr!

  • t.

    You’re semi skilled and you claim to have a job.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    I do, but mind is not in the semi skilled trades and is not paid hourly.

  • Common Sense

    No, housewife aka domestic engineer doesn’t pay what it should huh Lake?

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    You sound pretty bitter, Common. I’m sorry your whole pseudocop thing backfired.

    And the whole “hur, hur, your’re a girl” thing is just sad. I would expect something more out of the “I fucked your little daughter” guy.

    This loss of fake cop status must have really taken the wind out of your sails.

  • Radical Dude

    More imaginary facts, you are quite imaginative.

  • Common Sense

    We all know you are a woman Lakewood. Its okay. Embrace it.

  • Lakewood_in_Afghanistan

    Unable to come up with a single imaginative insult. You have really lost your mojo with the loss of your imaginary cop status.

    Why not post a blustery wikipedia cited article about how great cops are, just for old time’s sake?

  • AlephTheNemesis

    Don’t give these fucktards any mind who come on here and show their ignorance of the law. These officers were clearly in the wrong and it matters not what Mr. Beuhler did in his prior business dealings. He was intervening on behalf of a fellow citizen who was being tortured and victimized by power-tripping shithead cops. The system then protected their own because everyday people are considered the enemy.

    These fucking trolls are probably either paid by the DoD (they have numbers of people paid to troll comments sections as part of the psyop on the American people) or are the cops themselves trying to stroke their egos.

    It’s too bad when the ‘justice’ system fails the people it supposedly is in place to protect.

  • Pam Dunn

    I Hope they ALL get good lawyers and end up RAPING the police Department, the Officers and the City for several millions of dollars.