Activist Antonio Buehler scored a legal victory this week when a federal judge declined to dismiss his lawsuit against the Austin Police Department, ruling he had a clearly established constitutional right to photograph and film officers when they arrested him multiple times while videotaping authorities.
In an order filed Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane found all private citizens have the right to record officers in public places as they perform their official duties, so long as they don’t interfere, and that the officers in Buehler’s case weren’t immune from allegations that they had detained and searched him without probable cause.
Lane said the city and Police Department could not escape liability for failing to establish a policy and provide training addressing how officers should proceed when citizens videotape or photograph them, according to the memorandum filed in the U.S. Western District of Texas. He rejected Buehler’s claims of excessive force and malicious prosecution.
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