kevin butler

Killeen YouTuber Kevin Butler, also known as No Question Abaudit.

Kevin Duane Butler, who also goes by the moniker “No Question Abaudit” on his YouTube channel, appeared in Killeen Municipal Court on Wednesday for his hearing on his misdemeanor charge of interfering or obstructing a police officer.

Butler refused to plead either guilty or not guilty, but City Judge Mark D. Kimball quickly gave Butler a not-guilty plea.

Butler is a part of an online community of people who refer to themselves as “auditors” who film police officers along with other public officials, and post the videos online. He was arrested on Dec. 18 while doing a video recording of Killeen police during a traffic stop. Police say Butler was interfering with their investigation when he voiced aloud that people in the passenger seat don’t have to show ID.

Butler claims that his arrest was a violation of his free speech rights.

Before his hearing Wednesday, Butler did have some disagreements with the bailiff. The first cane when the bailiff called out Butler’s last name and Butler refused to say his first name.

The second disagreement came when Butler asked whether not being allowed his cellphone during the hearing was a policy or a law. The bailiff responded that it was policy.

“So it’s not a law?” Butler asked. The bailiff said that if Butler had any issues with this, then he can bring it up to the judge.

Once Kimball called on Butler to approach the bench to plead guilty or not guilty, Butler said that he refused to plead either way.

“OK, that will be ‘not guilty’ and I will give you a pre-trial date,” Kimball said as Butler walked back to his seat.

In the weeks since his arrest, Butler has been gaining some support among some Killeen residents, but others consider Butler’s actions more of a nuisance.

Killeen resident Bill Paquette last week spoke before the Killeen City Council and asserted that auditors only push the situations until there is a reaction.

During that same City Council meeting, activists with Open Carry Texas presented a petition to amend the city ordinance that police claimed Butler violated.

“This is only done for money and (online) views,” Paquette said. “How many people are going to do what Butler does? I don’t want to change anything because they are only in it for the views.”

After viewing NoQuestionAbaudit’s YouTube video of his arrest, an attorney with the ACLU of Texas said Butler’s interaction with police seemed to be well within his First Amendment rights.

“He was at least 10 to 15 feet away, if not more, from what was happening,” ACLU attorney David Donatti said in a phone interview with the Herald Tuesday.

“He is just a citizen on a public street in the city where he lives. Whether he was speaking to the passenger or to his YouTube followers, he was speaking on a matter of public concern which is: what are people’s rights when they are confronting a police officer.”

Donatti said in an ideal world the charges against Butler would be dismissed.

“The police overstepped what appears from the video to be a plain exercise of a constitutional right and these charges should be dropped,” Donatti said.

tcooper@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553 

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(6) comments

TimeToMove

In my previous paragraph, I used the word “think” correctly.

People should “think” about this veteran who, on their behalf stood at the front lines to defend this country.

“Think” how someone else was the first responder during disasters both home and abroad.

“Think” how he protected your rights and freedoms, when others did not raise their hands.

You should be eternally grateful that he again took your place and was arrested, instead of you.

I only encourage you not to make disparaging remarks about his actions to ensure that others are not unfairly deprived of their rights.

TimeToMove

To all those who have commented negatively about Mr. No Question Abaudit, you should be thinking this military veteran for standing up to his U.S. Constitutional rights. Haters of a person trying to have a false misdemeanor charge (and 12-hour jail time) erased from his government records are obstructing justice. According to the law of the land, the City of Killeen should stand strong with an innocent man and not roast him in the comment section of our local newspaper for his appearance.

When I recite the Pledge of Allegiance, I believe that it includes “Justice for All,” not just the pretty ones or those who play armchair quarterbacks for the rights of others. I’m astounded that some readers believe it was honorable for the Killeen police to arrest a citizen, especially on a misdemeanor Killeen ordinance. The police had other options, ignore him, give a verbal command to stop talking, or call for backup and allow other KPD officers to help. Instead, these officers wanted to demonstrate to people of color that they have unquestionable power.

Some readers commented that auditors only want attention from others or record public officials for the clicks they receive online. Don’t we all desire attention from others in life. For goodness sakes, that is why we get married, have productive jobs, and wear clothes. If this man were sitting at home with no productive output, you would also complain. Make up your mind to either support free speech or tear down the flag. You can’t have both.

dailymajor

None of, ...what rights? The right to say anything to anyone, any way you want to say it? There is NO Such Right.. ...It is against the law to interfere with a police investigation, period, and he interfered by interjecting himself into the investigation.....This guy desparately needs attention. He just can't get enough. I wonder why he lacks the attention in other areas of his life that he apparently so desparately needs. He is like a spoiled child. ...Look at his picture. ..this guy is sooo desparate for attention....I wish KDH would quit wasting space with him.

Wayne Jefferson

I think that during these times where we need to support the police that idiots like these could have some respect. I'm sure when someone breaks in his house and he needs them to help. I stand behind his idea of freedom of speech but his ideas ain't helping the community any.. bet if a white guy standing on the corner yelling the n-word all day is also protected but common sense dictates respect is in order

Noneofyourbiz

I can’t agree with being difficult in court, being difficult in court can come back on you.

I stand behind his rights 100% I just can’t stand behind his court room behavior

buckwheat6105

His rights were not violated; the first amendment does not give you the right to interfere with an active police investigation while police are speaking to witnesses. This clown had no idea what the traffic stop was about, what was being discussed, who was in the car, etc. He inserted himself between the police and the people in that car, to the point where he took the police’s attention away from them so they could focus on him.

This is a perfect, textbook example, of police interference.

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