In the early-hours of New Year's Day 2012, a sober-chauffeur driving a pickup-truck stopped for gas. After fueling, he and his friend heard a woman screaming.
Nearby, was a vehicle that had been stopped by police officers of Austin, Texas.
She was screaming because...
Patrick Oborski, of the Austin police, pulled over a car he saw being driven without headlights engaged. Oborski stopped the vehicle and events led up to him conducting a sobriety test on the driver, Ashley Nicole Hill.
While Hill's sobriety was being determined, her friend in the passenger seat, Norma Pizana, called out to her. Oborski stopped his evaluation of Hill long enough to walk to the vehicle, lean in and order Pizana to not interfere with his investigation.
According to the Penal Code, speech is not regarded as interference with an investigation.
“The freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.” Hill, 482 U.S. 451, 464 (1987) William J. Brennan Jr.
Although Oborski wore a badge, and was employed as someone whose job is to specialize in knowing and upholding the law. Maybe missed the class that taught him who his employers were, and being aware of citizens' rights?
Oborski moved away from the vehicle, and continued his attempt at determining the sobriety of the driver as another Austin policeman, Robert Snider, arrived. Snider then engaged in conversation with Pizana, and things went quickly downhill from there.
Meanwhile at the pump...
As the sober-chauffeur and his friend, Ben Muñoz, finished up at the pump, Norma Pizana began to scream.
Both men looked toward the stopped car and observed Snider violently pulling Pizana from the passenger seat, then throwing her to the ground. Moments later, Oborski joined him, and the two men were seen pulling upward on Pizana's arms, which were stretched out behind her, in what is deemed by the United States military and federal government as a torture technique.
The sober-chauffeur immediately began an attempt to take pictures of what he believed to be an incident of police brutality and violation of Pizana's rights. He also addressed the policeman, demanding they stop hurting Pizana.
That didn't go over well with Austin's finest, and once they had their rebel-speech-making revolutionary handcuffed and en-route to detainment in the back of a squad car Oborski turned and approached the photo-snapping-sober-chauffeur, aggressively stepping into his personal space and into his face asking, "Who do you think you are?!"
I've never met this sober-chauffeur in person, but I have it on the best authority of countless folks who do know him personally, that this whole scene culminated into a situation much like Boss Hogg's henchmen taking on Atticus Finch. I have, however, known him for several years via internet communication, and we have many of the same friends and colleagues who circulate in the same circles.
Turns out, the sober-chauffeur was West Point, Stanford and Harvard grad, three-tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army, Ranger Qualified, honored Bronze Star recipient, U.S. Army veteran Antonio Buehler, and he sincerely is one of America's finest.
The fallout ...
In video footage of Oborski getting further acquainted with Antonio, the policeman seems to have a penchant for the up-close and personal method of introducing himself to strangers which progressed to him shoving Antonio in the chest until he was pinned between the truck he'd been driving and Oborski. During this confrontation, Antonio maintained a non-threatening stance with Oborski, and the entire interaction is available to be viewed via numerous internet sources. However, to make it easy for you, I'll include one here if you'd like to see it.
While Oborski was practicing his jackboot tactics, other citizens were watching and videoing his actions that morning. Antonio was taken to the BAT mobile, and coerced into a breathalyzer. Later, the technician supervising it told him that he blew too hard and broke their machine.
Awww ... ☻
And so, it played out that our hero was arrested, and has since become a favorite, yet despised, target of the Austin police. He's been arrested repeatedly and spent so much time in court, and in the news, that he's become one of the most popular citizens in Texas and beyond due to dedicating countless hours of his time and attention to helping organize citizens into policing their own neighborhoods and policing the police who are on their payroll.
What is there to learn from all this?
That you can get arrested for stepping up to protect liberty, or worse?
Is it worth it?
Depends on whom you ask. It's obviously worth it to Antonio and others like him, who can't abide with seeing their fellow man, or woman, abused by those who are paid to provide service and protection, and those in the courts who are paid to be their voice and defend their liberty.
For that matter, they dislike abuse of position period.
The Austin police involved in the New Year's Day incident with Antonio prohibited the witnesses of those actions to share their contact information with the guy riding shotgun in the truck, Antonio's friend, Ben Muñoz.
When Antonio was released from jail, they had no way of contacting anyone directly to find out if they'd be willing to support him in court, and so they put out fliers in the area of the incident, asking any witnesses with information to contact them.
It worked. They got witnesses who were not only willing to testify to what they'd seen, but they produced video as well, and were willing to share it.
The point of this post...
Whether or not a life was lost, or someone was gravely injured in this incident isn't the point of this article. The fact that it didn't happen to you, or to someone you know isn't the point either.
The point is it happened and it shouldn't have.
It's continuing to happen, in a variety of situations across the entire nation which means it's growing like a disease that affects all of us.
So, what do we do about it?
While you mull it over, if you're inclined to, you can get better acquainted with the ensuing work of Antonio via information provided by the Peaceful Streets Project.
You can take it a step further by investigating Buehler Education. Oh yes ... did I forget to mention Antonio's a teacher and a well-respected one?
Find out more via his website at Buehler Education. He's got some fascinating news for you there, and your kids, and your kids' kids, neighbors' kids, and the rest of your community, too.
I have ended nearly every single post I've ever written on this site with a request for readers to not to forget to thank a vet at their next opportunity.
Here's a chance. The link's embedded for you. It's as easy as a point and click.
Knowledge is power and we don't have to live with our heads in the sand.
That's it for this one, and hope to see you back again later this week for Thursday's edition of femme's Desk.
'Til then, God bless you, thank you for the read please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity.
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