Tag Archives: Austin

The Battousai is Harassed, Assaulted, and Illegally Detained by Austin Police Officers for Filming

Date of Incident: November 11, 2016
Officers Involved:
Officer Maufrais Badge #7432 and Officer Lane Badge #7705
Department Involved: Austin (TX) Police Department
Department Phone Number: Chief Art Acevedo – (512) 974-5000
Department Facebook Page: Austin PD on FB

Department Twitter Profile: @Austin_Police
Department YouTube Account: Austin Police Department
Internal Affairs Division: Citizens Complaints

The video above shows “the Battousai,” a man from Texas who often films the police, being harassed, threatened, and even assaulted by two officers from the Austin Police Department. At the time he is accosted by Officers Maufrais and Lane, he is doing nothing but quietly and very much legally filming a traffic stop from a very appropriate distance.

In addition to shining a light on his camera(s), Maufrais and Lane physically bump the Battousai numerous times and illegally detain him from leaving by declaring that the area where his car is parked is off limits, claiming that it is part of the area they are using to conduct their investigation despite it being nowhere near the actual traffic stop. All this deliberate and ridiculous harassment is supposedly rationalized by their need to protect the safety of the officer conducting the traffic stop, which is clearly nonsense.

austin-tx-police-public-filming-policyAlthough this video is fairly self-explanatory, there are a few “highlights” from it that are worth mentioning. One is that Officer Maufraus states in the early part of the video that he “is not intimidated by you people, like most officers are.” When asked for clarification he defines “you people” as people that legally film the police. That’s both telling and a little sad that police would be intimidated by someone simply filming them in public.

The second issue is that when Officer Maufraus is told that he is violating Austin Police Department policy by interfering with someone legally recording them in public, he not only acknowledges being aware of that, but states that he “doesn’t care about policy.” The APD, like most police departments at this point, does in fact have a policy that clearly states recording police officers in public is allowed and should not be interfered with. The screenshot to the left shows the first page of Article 302.2 in the official Austin Police Department handbook. (You can see the entire handbook in PDF form here.) The fact that this officer readily admits on camera to not caring about the department’s  policies is pretty bad.

And in keeping with that theme of not knowing or caring about policies or laws, the last lowlight is when Officer Maufraus states his definition of a “lawful order.” While threatening the Battousai with arrest for supposedly violating a lawful order, he is asked, “What’s lawful about it?” to which he answers, “because I told you to do it.” That’s very far from the definition of a lawful order. The fact that it was a cop who told someone to do something is incredibly far from what makes something a lawful order.

Below is the description from the Battousai, via Youtube:

“This was one of the most stressful videos I have ever filmed. I was harassed and intimidated for nearly an hour all for exercising my 1st amendment rights. I was grabbed, shoved, and bumped into a few times when trying to walk in a different direction. Then the cops prevented my from going to my car and leaving. They made me wait until after arrested the tow truck to come and take the arrested individual’s car. When the tow truck left I was allowed to get my property back and go to my car. Estimated amount of detention was 56 to 57 minutes.”

If you’d like to let the Austin Police Department know what you thing of the behavior of their officers and their stated disregard for department policies, you can contact them through several social media and/or email options, via the links above. In addition, you can contact Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo directly via Twitter using this link: @ArtAcevedo

Video Shows Austin Police Violently Arrest Teacher Then Tell Her Black People Have “Violent Tendencies”

An Austin police dash cam video that was just released shows an incident from June of 2015 in which a black school teacher was violently arrested during a traffic stop. Reportedly she was pulled over by Officer Bryan Richter for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit

A second video from the inside of another officer’s car as he transports her to jail features a conversation between the teacher, Breaion King, and that officer about racism. During that conversation, Officer Patrick Spradlin can be heard telling King that the white people are afraid of black people because of “violent tendencies” and that this fear is justified “because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating.”

Via NBCDFW.com:

The traffic stop happened in June of last year but was not seen until the Austin American-Statesman published the video Thursday. Acevedo called a news conference hours later and said both officers have been taken off street patrol and are on desk duty pending new internal investigations, which he said will include both officers’ conduct in the year since the incident.

The video is surfacing amid heightened nationwide tension over police treatment of black people.

“For those that think life is perfect for people of color, I want you to listen to that conversation and tell me we don’t have social issues in this nation,” said Acevedo, who is Hispanic. “Issues of bias. Issues of racism. Issues of people being looked at different because of their color.”

In one of two videos, Officer Patrick Spradlin is heard talking to King, who was pulled over for speeding, about race while driving her to jail.

“Why are so many people afraid of black people?” Spradlin asks.

King replies that she is also trying to figure that out.

“I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way,” he said. “Violent tendencies.”

Spradlin goes on to say that “I don’t blame” white people for being afraid because of violence in the black community. “Some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating,” he says.

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King told the newspaper that the encounter changed how she views police. Acevedo said she was pulled over for driving 15 mph over the speed limit when Officer Bryan Richter ordered her out of the car. The video shows him nearly throwing her into an adjacent truck while trying to place her under arrest in a Wendy’s parking lot.

“I’ve become fearful to live my life,” King told the newspaper. “I would rather stay home. I’ve become afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me and take care of me.”

Dashcam video of Arrest

Video of Conversation Inside the Car

Arrest and Backseat Videos Combined

Full Raw Video

Austin PD Officer Assaults and Interferes With Photographer

APD Officers involved:

Brewer #5607
Allegretti #7756
Hoke #7304
Cummings #7080
Aalbers #7591

With the amount of negative press that officers from the Austin Police Department are getting these days, one would think they would do everything they could to change their public image.  However, in yet another video by The Battousai they continued to demonstrate their hate for people exercising their constitutional rights.

Batt was filming a traffic stop that led to a DUI investigation.  He was filming from a public sidewalk, was over 30 feet away from the scene, and was not interfering with the officers at any time.  The stop began with just one officer and the driver being investigated.  Once the officer saw that he was being recorded, four more officers soon rolled up on the scene.

At 5:23 into the video, an officer identified as Officer Brewer, Badge #5607 approaches Batt and asks him to move back another 20 feet.  He tells the officer that he is on a public sidewalk and is far enough away from the scene and that he is not interfering. Brewer then assaults Battousai when he puts hands on him and pulls him onto private property.  Batt tells the officer several times to remove his hands from him.  He tells the officer that he is not going to stand on private property and moves back to the sidewalk.

Throughout the video, another officer; Officer Allegretti Badge #7756, keeps looking back to see where the camera is and then moves to block his shot.  Because of this, he has to keep moving to get a shot of the scene.  Brewer tells him to quit moving around and he tells the officer that if the officer would stop interfering with his photography, he wouldn’t have to keep moving.

According to APD Policy:

302.2 INTERACTION WITH COMMUNITY

(b1):  In areas open to the public, officers shall allow bystanders the same access for photography as is given to members of the news.  Officers shall be aware that:  3.  Public settings include parks, sidewalks, streets, and locations of public protests; but that protection extends also to an individual’s home or business, common areas of public or private facilities and buildings, and any other public or private facility at which the individual has a legal right to be present.

(c) As long as the photographing or recording takes place in a setting at which the individual has a legal right to be present and does not interfere with an officer’s safety or lawful duties, officer’s shall not inform or instruct people that photographing or recording of police officers, police activity or individuals who are the subject of police action (such as a Terry stop or an arrest) is not allowed; requires a permit; or requires the officer’s consent. Additionally, officers shall not:

1. Order that person to cease such activity;

2. Demand that person’s identification;

3. Demand that the person state a reason why he or she is taking photographs or recording;

4. Detain that person;

5. Intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices; or

6. In any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording officer’s enforcement activities.

Several of the officers present seemed to interact professionally with Battousai, but it’s quite apparent that Officer Brewer and Officer Allegretti are in need of retraining on the department’s policy when interacting with the public.  If these officer have nothing to hide, why do they seem to lose their minds every time a person films them?

The Battousai is a real professional when dealing with officer when he goes out and films them.  He is always polite and never puts himself into the situation.  His only interactions are when they approach him or when they are finished with their stop so that he can get names and badge numbers.  Don’t let his being polite confuse you into thinking it’s weakness.  This man knows the local laws and does not back down when one of these officers tries to challenge him on his actions.

Check out some of his other videos below:

Battousai also included the link to a story involving field sobriety tests that you may find informative:  Passing a Field Sobriety Test

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The Police Accountability Tour – Coming Soon to a City Near You

The police Accountability Tour

The police Accountability Tour

Unfortunately, that’s not actually true for those of us in Las Vegas (or any other part of Nevada), but the Police Accountability Tour will be kicking off during  the 2nd Annual Peaceful Streets Project Police Accountability Summit in Austin, Tx., which runs from August 15th -20th. If one of their stops is in fact in a city near you, then you should do yourself (and your community) a favor and be there.

That first stop in Austin will be amazing in and of itself.  Among the confirmed speakers are: Radley Balko, writer for the Huffington Post and author of the new book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Force, Carlos Miller of PhotographyIsNotACrime.com, LeWayne Kelly, B. Dolan who will perform “Film the Police,” Tatiana Moroz who will perform a song written for the Peaceful Streets Project, Antonio Buehler and John Bush co-founders of Peaceful Streets Project, Bill Scott whose son Erik was murdered by the police here in Las Vegas, writer Will Grigg, and of course Pete Eyre co-founder of Cop Block.

Topping all of that off, the keynote speaker for the summit will be Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party and long time police accountability activist. In an attempt to aid African-American victims of police brutality and racial prejudice, Seale and the Black Panthers pioneered the practice of cop watch, often times carrying rifles. As part of his speech, Seale will talk about how the camera is a more powerful weapon against police abuse than a rifle is.

From there, Pete and Jacob Crawford of We Copwatch have a stop in new York City, after which they are actually heading to South Africa for their next stop to show that police accountability isn’t just an issue for one country, but is an international priority. Then there are stops in Oakland, Denver, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, and New Orleans. You can see below for more details about the tour directly from the Cop Block tour info page, including ways that you can contribute to it.

The Police Accountability Tour: These Streets Are Watching
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From mid-August until December a tour will happen to maximize police accountability by facilitating connections and collaboration among those who know that badges don’t grant extra rights, and through skill sharing and the capturing and dissemination of relevant content.

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This tour will help further connect individuals involved with Cop Block, Cop Watch, and Peaceful Streets groups as well as all police-watching groups and people around the world, so we can together have a bigger impact free from institutionalized violence [RELATED: http://CopBlock.org/Groups]

Help the Tour Have a BIGGER Impact!

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>>click here for details about tour-related expenses<<

using Bitcoin: 1Hy8xL2ey3GwFLTEd3NTS76A3bWMnQ2dRP
with your debit or credit card: WePay.com/donate/PATour2013
or getgear: CopBlock.org/Store

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AUSTIN, TEXAS  –  Aug 15-20

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK  –  Aug 21-25

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA  –  Aug 26-Oct 10 

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA  –  Oct 11-19

DENVER, COLORADO  –  Oct 20-26

DETROIT, MICHIGAN  – Oct 27-Nov 01

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS  –  Nov 02-10

ATLANTA, GEORGIA  –  Nov 11-17

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA  –  Nov 18-24

police-accountability-tour-stops-graphic
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2013-06-19-nh-lancaster-porcfest-jacobcrawford-peteeyre

THE TEAM

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Jacob CrawfordWeCopwatch.org

Pete EyreCopBlock.org/Pete-Eyre

Let us know your ideas and suggestions: [email protected]