Sunday, September 23, 2012

Response to My Arrest on September 21st, 2012

I was arrested early morning on Friday, September 21, 2012 and charged with "Interference with Public Duties" for filming the arrest of a comrade attempting to film an Austin Police Department investigation and arrest.  Although my primary focus in activism is on the Occupy Wall Street movement, I've been increasingly involved in the Peaceful Streets Project, an organization dedicated to holding police accountable for their often violent and unlawful actions. 

After witnessing first-hand instances of police brutality against activists and the lies police departments spread to the mainstream media and in the court system to justify their unlawful and unethical behavior, I became involved in citizen journalism.  My job?  To film, photograph, and disseminate on social media the actions of my fellow activists and their arrests, in case they need this documentation.

Filming the police is integral in protecting the legal rights of activists, and it levels the playing field.  In an arrest, the police hold all power, and we must submit to the arrest, to the police brutality, to the devastating effects of the prison system on our humanity, and then we pray that we have enough money and a decent enough lawyer to get us through the legal system.  The right to film the police is the least of what we could and should be asking for. There will never be justice on scene or in the media again if we are not free to document and film those in power and to hold them accountable. What we are doing in the Peaceful Streets Project has intersectional implications, all of which rely on our First Amendment rights to free speech and to freedom of the press.  How our court cases play out will affect free speech and free press rights for all.

My favorite chant in the Occupy Movement is, "We are unstoppable! Another world is possible!" We need to continue investigating the history of municipal police forces and to not be afraid to examine weaknesses in our current judicial systems and prison industrial complexes.  We need to ask ourselves if there is a better way to form our communities, to love our neighbors, and to care for the most vulnerable and suffering among us. When we are positive that those in power are accountable to The People, only then can we call them public servants.

In jail, I wrote invisible prayers with my finger on my cell wall, asking for my freedom because writing is at the heart of how I understand life and our human pursuit of truth.  In the same way, I feel compelled to document situations of oppression and abuse of power in order to restore the feelings of love and community in our world.  I write to communicate the necessity of anti-oppression work and of the need for the activists in the Peaceful Streets Project and in activist movements worldwide, dedicated to the empowerment of all human beings and to the restoration of our humanity. Please bear witness.

13 comments:

  1. God Bless you And all you do and the others who are brave enough to expose the corruption that exists in a field that is suppose to uphold our Constitution and peacefully serve the public. AMEN!

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  2. Very well spoken, and I know 100% your case will be dropped and/or you will win. What the police don't know is that there are POLICE that support your cause because of they too are sick of the brutality and lies, but even more important to them is they are afraid that they will also get charged and lose their job because of the misdeeds of the bad ones.

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  3. Your work is very important. Don't let the thuggish police rob your humanity. The police are practiced Felons in perpetrating abuse on prisoners. They know through much practice how to tighten the handcuffs to cause pain, restrict circulation and cause permanent nerve damage. And, they are practiced torturers in jail of painfully twisting and bending the handcuffed wrists of prisoners in order to provoke a reaction, like turning away from or twisting in reaction to the PAIN. Then, that gives them the pretext of body-slamming and piling on the prisoners for RESISTING ARREST, all the while chanting STOP RESISTING, in order to inflict grievous injuries to a handcuffed and compliant prisoner. The police and jailers especially like to cause injuries to the prisoner's head by leg-sweeping the handcuffed prisoner who cannot resist falling on their head, as they cannot use their handcuffed hands to maintain their balance or grab onto something to hold themselves upright. Our jails and police forces are populated heaviliy with sadists and psychos.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. To be clear, My "fuck you" is to the "anonymous" that accused Mrs. Dickerson of being a criminal.

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    1. Oh, you mean the "anonymous" that is employed by the Austin Police Department?

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  6. I used to only post approved comments. I will still manually moderate them.

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  7. I got arrested by Oborski earlier in the year and was charged with DWI. Even though he is DWI task force, he neglected/forgot to turn his microphone on, so my tape didn't pick up audio. He yelled at me like a drill sergeant despite my respectful behavior, gave me improper instructions for one part of the sobriety test, which he marked me as failing despite following his instructions, and proceeded to mark each and every category he could evaluate me on as a fail. My tape shows no signs of me being intoxicated whatsoever, as I was leaving a professional function and had an early meeting the next day. His arrest report is full of exaggerations and outright lies, including his reason for the traffic stop. All of this "information" he swore was true in order to obtain a warrant for a blood sample, so he lied to a judge too. I am still awaiting those results, however my decision to not say a single word after being placed in cuffs (it was clear by that point he had an arrest fetish) will likely result in my license suspension, additional legal costs, etc. The prosecutor has delayed my initial court date multiple times and I continue to pay legal fees.

    I have lived in several major cities, including Los Angeles and cities with the highest murder rates in the country. Of all these places, APD has the absolute worst police force I have experienced. They abuse the citizens they are supposed to serve. Elsewhere, I never had a negative interaction with an officer. Here, I have literally never had one that I could call positive. I have been met with some sort of arrogance or aggression each time. Thank God I have the resources to pay a lawyer, but this will still take almost 2 years to sort out during a time when I am trying to apply to top graduate schools around the country and need to put this absurdity behind me. I would stay in Austin, but the city I grew up in and once loved is now a place where I feel anxiety each time I see a cop, every 5 minutes, even if I am doing nothing wrong. Oborski is a violent criminal and a disgrace to responsible police around the country that risk their lives daily to protect and serve. The decision to not hold him accountable for his actions and withhold evidence of his obstruction is shameful.

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    1. I am so sorry about your being victimized by Patrick Oborski. I assume you are a woman - he seems to only go after women. We are working to not only make sure that those he arrests get exonerated, but we are working to get him fired and charged with criminal offenses. This man's future is behind bars. You should contact Antonio Buehler at antonio.buehler@gmail.com. He will help you out.

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  8. Definitely check out the Peaceful Streets Project website & contact information. Oborski certainly inspired the creation of this group, but we're interested in all Austin PD abuse of authority.

    Here's PSP contact info for future reference:

    (512) 981-7675
    peacefulstreets@gmail.com

    P.O.Box 244
    Austin, TX 78705

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  9. I'm curious. If the police are so against you filming, why are there dozens of videos on your youtube channel where you film the police and they didn't say a word to you about it? Could it be because you kept your distance in those cases?

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  10. ^ In response to above comment. Dealing with cops is much like dealing with a wild animal. You never know what to expect and your actions really have no bearing on their response. For the most part they are stupid. Bullies dislike thinking, they feed off of escalation. That is why they are now holding several cameras that were taken illegally and are being held illegally.

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