Lt. Mark Eisenbraun is with the Rapid City Police Department. He says video evidence is more powerful if an incident makes its way to court.
“The hope there is that this is one additional tool that police, law enforcement, can use to try and increase our effectiveness in prosecution and hopefully hold offenders accountable and protect victims,” Eisenbraun says [Lee Strubinger, “RCPD and PCSO to Implement Body Camera Program in January,” SDPB Radio, 2017.10.19].
That’s the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts.
“We found essentially that we could not detect any statistically significant effect of the body-worn cameras,” says Anita Ravishankar, a researcher with the Metropolitan Police Department and a group in the city government called the Lab @ DC.
“I think we’re surprised by the result. I think a lot of people were suggesting that the body-worn cameras would change behavior,” says Chief of Police Peter Newsham. “There was no indication that the cameras changed behavior at all.”
Perhaps, he says, that is because his officers “were doing the right thing in the first place.”
In the wake of high-profile shootings, many police departments have been rapidly adopting body-worn cameras, despite a dearth of solid research on how the technology can change policing.
Think about it, Rapid City: you have $300,000 of your own money to spend on public safety. Are you sure you want to spend that money in an effort to get different results from the statistical shrug the D.C. evidence shows? Or might there be some other, less costly activities in which you could invest that money to improve law enforcement outcomes?
Yusuf’s mom lives in Aberdeen. If Yusuf is guilty, let’s hope she gives him an even bigger whoopin’ than the law can dish out.
* * *
I work with enough teenagers to recognize a crime like Yusuf’s as immature stupidity, not justification for cultural warfare. But then I open my morning paper and find this appalling letter from an Aberdeen neighbor who thinks people from different cultures are worse than inmates in the penitentiary:
I went to the ABBY Awards, and I want to compliment the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce for a great job. Things were great until the mayor started talking about how great Aberdonians are for accepting people of other cultures to Aberdeen.
Maybe I am the only one that thinks drive-by shootings, people being shot and stabbed on the streets and a satellite police station are things that Aberdeen doesn’t need. There is no way to vet these people and I think the answer is to get a couple of buses and send them to the penitentiary, and bring those people to Aberdeen — we know them [Patrick McHugh, letter to the editor, Aberdeen American News, 2017.10.12].
Puppy thieves and racist letter writers—both embarrassments to our fair city.
Democrats, target the new open seat in District 3. Republican Representative Dan Kaiser says three terms in Pierre is enough for him. On this morning’s In Touch program on KABD Radio, Kaiser said he wants to get back to policing all the time and run for sheriff next year.
Speaking of improper use of police resources, the Mitchell mayor Jerry Toomey has decided, without council discussion or approval, to deploy a city cop to guard the City Council chamber doors during closed sessions… because, what, so many people have been trying to bust through the door to hear councilors’ secret conversations?
While this was pegged as a “no-cost alternative” to protect the information discussed in private by the council, it certainly isn’t. By forcing an officer to stand idly by the council chamber while crime may be occurring elsewhere, the city is prioritizing money on a guard. That money could otherwise be used to staff an on-duty officer.
We see the decision to station an officer outside of Council Chambers as an inefficiency that could easily be solved by one of two methods.
First, the council could do what it’s done several times before: move the executive session to another room. Or second, and much more reasonable, council members could speak more quietly.
If the council is going to spend money on this initiative, it would make more sense to reinforce the door rather than station a police officer at the door to guard against nothing [editorial board, “A Nonsensical New Normal at City Council Meetings,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2017.09.11].
A South Dakota mayor or city councilor thinking he needs police protection during secret deliberations has too high an opinion of his importance. We need to drop these constant police-state posturings in our public buildings and get back to an efficient use of our public safety resources to protect everyone, not just elected elitists.
****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].
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.
Yet just a couple weeks after his swing through South Dakota, Guandolo’s anti-Muslim hysteria apparently drove him to take a swing at Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek:
Confidential court records sent to the Center for New Community (CNC) by an anonymous source indicate Guandolo was involved in an altercation with Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek on June 28, 2017….
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) also confirmed the validity of the court documents to CNC staff on August 10 and provided a statement. “On June 28, 2017, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek was physically assaulted while attending the National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada,” the statement reads. “John Guandolo, of Dallas Texas, was cited for battery. Guandolo was presenting at the conference on behalf of the ‘Understanding the Threat’ organization.”
“The conversation became contentious” following Guandolo’s allegation and he began repeatedly stating he was a combat veteran, court records reveal. Stanek accordingly “stood up and announced that the meeting was over,” to which Guandolo responded by calling Stanek a “f[——] a[——]” before physically confronting the sheriff.
“[Guandolo] put the palms of his hands onto [Stanek’s] chest and forcibly pushed [Stanek] causing his head to snap backwards and fall into the wall behind him,” records also reveal. Guandolo then proceeded to throw “two closed-fist punches at [Stanek] striking him once in the area of [Stanek’s] left face/chin.” The court records indicate Washoe County, Nevada Sheriff’s deputies obtained surveillance video of Guandolo punching the sheriff [Imagine 2050, 2017.08.11].
“The sheriff physically roughed up Mr. Guandolo after his demands for removal of critical comments from the UTT website were declined,” wrote John Andrews, a former Colorado state senator who describes himself as the chairman of UTT’s National Advisory board.
We’ve seen right here in Aberdeen how quickly people swallowing this racist, fact-free conspiracy-theory hysteria will leap up and threaten violence. Imagine 2050 recognizes that danger posed by Guandolo and the madness he peddles:
The incident is a disturbing example of the threat Guandolo’s conspiracy-laden anti-Muslim zeal poses. If someone like Guandolo, who UTT-produced materials identify as “a Special Deputy Sheriff in Culpeper County, Virginia,” can be so consumed with anti-Muslim fervor that he would attack a law enforcement officer he perceives as collaborating with his enemies, it raises concerns about all those participating in training courses led by him and his UTT colleagues [Imagine 2050, 2017.08.11].
When you’re preaching to fearful people that they are part of an all-out war for civilization and survival, the kind of apocalyptic conflict “that movies are written about,” you can slip into justifying almost any words and actions. Civility, law, and truth matter less than the all-consuming fear of total destruction on which you’ve built your identity (not to mention your income stream).
Whether Aberdeen’s and Rapid City anti-Muslim paranoiacs will bring Guandolo back to South Dakota is unknown. According to a flyer floating around town, Aberdeen’s anonymous fearmongers are bringing New Zealand witch hunter Trevor Loudon back on September 19 to recycle the dreary litany of Muslim/communist/socialist threats he offered here in May. Aberdeen High School Democrats are organizing a suitable non-violent protest. (Review the photos and video of their positive April action for appropriate signs and statements by civilized citizens who recognize that solutions to America’s real problems do not rely on fear, hate, or punching sheriffs.)
The technology used at the residence in Lake County was a remote operated tactical robot. The tactical robot is equipped with multiple cameras, a light, and 2 way communications with the ability to listen to surroundings. It was used in this incident to better understand the layout of the exterior of the residence by driving around it. This allows law enforcement to evaluate the structure from a safe location. The robot is equipped to knock on the residence door and then proceed to the interior where it successfully navigated through the residence giving law enforcement a real time look of the entire structure while having the ability to give it commands from a safe location.
The tactical robot did not locate the subject, but did provide officers with the necessary information to enter the structure safely. The subject was located in the residence and arrested without incident. The tactical robot was then used to clear additional spaces in the residence including the attic space.
The tactical robot was a joint law enforcement purchase by the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, Sioux Falls Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation [Attorney General Marty Jackley, press release, 2017.08.07].
How much did the South Dakota Highway Patrol spend in supporting state/corporate oppression of free speech at the Dakota Access pipeline protests in North Dakota last fall and winter? $518,154.38, says SDHP spokesman Tony Mangan, an amount that has been fully reimbursed by the state of North Dakota. Mangan says our Highway Patrol expended 8,800 manhour and other resources making life harder for Americans who don’t support Energy Transfer Partners’ endangerment of our water.
Trump delivered a combative law-and-order speech in the New York suburb Friday, calling gang members “animals” and praising law enforcement for being “rough.”
Speaking before law enforcement officers, Trump praised the aggressive tactics of immigration officers and suggested that police shouldn’t protect the heads of handcuffed suspects being put in the back of a car.
“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,'” Trump said to applause, referring to officers shielding prisoners’ heads with their hands.
In response to those remarks, Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns released this statement:
“The comments by the President regarding police use of force do not reflect the views or the policy of the Sioux Falls Police Department in regards to the handling or treatment of persons in our custody. We treat all persons with respect regardless of our reason for contact with them” [“Sioux Falls Police Chief Responds to Trump’s Use of Force Comments,” KSFY, 2017.07.30]
More danger and excitement in Aberdeen—according to the Aberdeen Police Department and a smattering of Facebook friends, an armed robber hit the Deuces Wild/Grande Casino building (I think the e is silent) at 12:06 p.m. today. In multiple signs of a lack of planning, the crook fled in broad daylight on foot (you’ve got to have wheels to put distance between you and the scene of the crime and force the police to spread their search resources) dropping money on the street as he went (bring a bag, preferably a snug backpack to keep both hands free, stuff it with cash, then zip it up so you aren’t leaving a trail bread crumbs).
Local motorcyclist Matthew Spencer reported the crime immediately on Facebook and appears to have helped police track the robber. Aberdeen PD established a perimeter around the neighborhood within minutes. By 12:22, they had apprehended 38-year-old Jesus Antonio Aguilera Rivera in a garage two blocks up and two over, in the 1100 block of Southeast Third Avenue. No shots were fired.
I’d buzz down to the Brown County Jail to get a mugshot of the suspect, but a couple weeks ago, the Brown County Commission voted to increase the cost of newly public mugshots from the already unreasonable $8 to $10, not because of any actual cost of providing the mugshots, but just because they want “a more even number” and want to claw back some of the money they pay the newspaper for publishing legal notices. My Libertarian friends mistakenly claim that taxation is theft. Tacking two bucks onto a fee for a public document—now that’s theft!