Austin, TX — A video of Austin Police, taken by the cop watching group, the Peaceful Streets Project, was published to YouTube this weekend, showing them pepper spray a handcuffed man in the back of a police van.
Austin police have provided no other information other than they have launched an internal investigation.
The Peaceful Streets Project is known for actively filming police and the group, founded by police accountability activist Antonio Beuhler, said they stepped up their efforts to film during the 10-day SXSW festivities.
Beuhler said that he has seen many instances of police officers unnecessarily using pepper spray and tasers on people during SXSW.
“They’re treating pepper spray like a grand marshal treats candy at a parade, just throwing it out there like crazy,” Buehler said.
The video taken by the group shows Austin Police officer, identified as Cameron Caldwell, close the door to the police van only to open it minutes later and tell the man to stop kicking the door.
When Caldwell opens the door a second time, he says, “What did I tell you about kicking the door?”
The man inside replies, “I didn’t do nothing,” and, at this point, he is blasted with a face and body full of this painful chemical weapon.
“What did I tell you about kicking the door? I told you,” Caldwell yells before closing the door again.
“Wow, you asshole,” yelled a woman who had recorded it. “I saw that, I got that on film, you abusive asshole.”
“Listen we see these cops violating policy and committing crimes all the time, but usually there is some gray area that they like to dance (in),” Buehler said. “This was just crystal clear, there is no way by law or policy that what this guy did was acceptable. There is zero gray area.”
Below is the video, the cop’s criminal actions begin at the 3:38 mark.
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