Melissa Mentele has enough to worry about with getting her three initiative petitions signed and submitted by November 6. She doesn’t need any legal or media distractions.
But she’s got one. At 4:42 a.m. Sunday morning, Mentele posted on Facebook that her daughters had been assaulted by University police at South Dakota State University. That Sioux Falls paper reports the incident and resulting investigation here; SDGOP spinster and ballot measure opponent Pat Powers coyly dismisses the incident and suggest the girls had it coming here.
I wasn’t there (and even when I was on campus many moons ago, I always missed the big action), so I’ll stick with reposting Mentele’s text and inviting you to look at Mentele’s photos on her FB post yourself:
****9/11 update Internal Affairs called this morning. There has been a full investigation started on the excessive use of force. We ask everyone to please not harass Jason Baker he is being dealt with through his job & the county prosecutors office. Neither girl has any charges except resisting arrest and Lillian for obstructing the arrest of Madison they were not charged with anything else….think about that they resisted an arrest for not committing a crime.****
****Updated Info & Pictures added from 12 hours later. Her bones in hand were dislocated not broken thankfully. She was examined by the ER today, had x-rays and was treated for multiple contusions.****
The events of tonight will haunt our family forever. At 11:27pm on 9/9 both Brent and my phones rang Lillian Mentele on one and Madison E Mentele on the other. We answered to what a parent would call absolute hell. The horrified screams, panic and hysteria in both girls voices combined with the sounds of a violent attack will be on replay in my head for a long time.
The terrifying thing is the violent attack was from someone I have spent years teaching them to trust, respect and look for in times of need. Madison was brutally attacked by a campus police officer on the SDSU campus. He dislocated the bones in her hand, left bruises all over her body, charged her with resisting arrest after he dislocated her hand because she was screaming in agony, arrested her with out reading her Miranda rights to her and arrested Lillian for screaming at him to stop hurting Madison & to help her because he had hurt her so badly. This officer was over 6ft tall and 250lbs and went “hand to hand” <—his words because Madison couldn’t sit on the ground due to her knee injury she has been dealing with since the car accident back in August.
Madison is in shock and is in pretty bad shape. Her dislocated hand will end her Senior JV Volleyball season which is devastating to her. We will be going into acute care in a few hours to have her hand casted. We just got home from Brookings.
Madison is a minor. Her crime…walking on campus minding her own business with her sister & friends.
We need an attorney, a civil one and a criminal one. We also need his body camera footage before it disappears.
I am taking a personal day today to deal with this. Pray for Madison she is absolutely traumatized and hasn’t stopped shaking in the past 5 hours.
Police brutality is real and it is happening right here in SD.
These photos were taken while being recorded in front of a Brookings County Sherriff inside the waiting area on their advice to ensure evidence was not tampered with. They were unable to document the injuries so they suggested we do it there on camera so there was no question on how she was released to me. They also suggested we either Sunshine Act or Subpoena the footage right away Monday to ensure it didn’t get “lost” [Melissa Mentele, Facebook post, 2017.09.10].
The SDSU Collegian notes that consumption of alcohol was involved, though it is not clear that said consumption was illegal:
According to multiple Facebook posts, Melissa Mentele said her daughter, a senior at Emery High School, suffered dislocated bones in her hand and multiple scrapes and bruises when a UPD officer arrested her and her sister Lillian at 11:27 p.m. Saturday on SDSU campus. Melissa said her daughter has been charged with resisting arrest.
Lillian tweeted the morning of Sept. 10 that her sister was breathalyzed and blew a .03. According to the tweet, Lillian has been charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a law enforcement officer [Garrett Ammesmaki, “Mother Claims Arrested Daughter Suffered ‘Violent Attack’ by UPD Officer,” SDSU Collegian, 2017.09.11].
Unfortunately for Mentele, whom I’m sure would rather be focusing on the home stretch of her petition drive, there is probably more to come.