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Mother releases video of SDSU officer handcuffing daughter

  • Melissa Mentele has shared bodycam video of her daughter's arrest at school
  • Madison Mentele was arrested in September at South Dakota State University
  • She was 17 at the time, and bodycam shows her screaming out for officer to stop
  • Pictures show she was left with bruising around her wrists, but officer not fired 

By Associated Press

Published: 14:51 EDT, 12 June 2018 | Updated: 20:00 EDT, 12 June 2018

A distraught mother has released police video of a South Dakota State University officer grabbing her teenage daughter by the wrist and handcuffing her during an arrest last September.

Melissa Mentele of Emery says her two daughters were stopped by the officer as they walked on campus. 

Within seconds of leaving his squad car, the officer had handcuffed 17-year-old Madison and held her face down while she screamed and repeatedly asked him to stop, The Argus Leader reported. 

'The kids were literally doing nothing. They were walking across campus at 11:30 at night which was within curfew,' Mentele said, adding she had decided to share the video to raise questions about the officer's actions.

'It looked like a felony drug arrest or a murder arrest,' Mentele said. 

Melissa Mentele (right) released police bodycam footage of her daughter Madison (left) being 'violently' arrested on campus at South Dakota State University in September
Melissa Mentele (right) released police bodycam footage of her daughter Madison (left) being 'violently' arrested on campus at South Dakota State University in September

Melissa Mentele (right) released police bodycam footage of her daughter Madison (left) being 'violently' arrested on campus at South Dakota State University in September

In the footage, Madison, who was 17 at the time, can be heard screaming in pain and asking the officer to stop

Madison, who suffered a dislocated wrist, was never charged with anything.

After the arrest, Mentele shared the girls' experience in a Facebook post, saying her daughters had been victims of a 'violent attack' by the officer, and sharing pictures of Madison's injuries.

'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,' she wrote at the time.

Officer Jason Baker defended the arrest in court Monday, saying he stopped the girls due to suspicious behavior. 

The footage was played during a trial for Mentele's older daughter, Lillian (pictured), who was charged with obstruction during the arrest for trying to help her sister
The footage was played during a trial for Mentele's older daughter, Lillian (pictured), who was charged with obstruction during the arrest for trying to help her sister
Madison (pictured) was not charged with anything
Madison (pictured) was not charged with anything

The footage was played during a trial for Mentele's older daughter, Lillian (left), who was charged with obstruction during the arrest for trying to help her sister. Madison (right) was not charged with anything

Mentele said she doesn't understand how the officer involved in the arrest (Madison pictured on bodycam) is still employed by the university
Mentele said she doesn't understand how the officer involved in the arrest (Madison pictured on bodycam) is still employed by the university

Mentele said she doesn't understand how the officer involved in the arrest (Madison pictured on bodycam) is still employed by the university

Baker testified at a trial for Mentele's 19-year-old daughter, Lillian, who was charged with obstruction and resisting arrest for trying to intervene in her younger sister's arrest. 

She was found guilty of obstruction, but the resisting charge was dropped.

Mentele broke down in court when the video was played. She said she is still looking for answers as to why the officer is employed by the university. 

SDSU spokesman Mike Lockrem said Tuesday the university doesn't comment on legal or personnel matters.

The Brookings County attorney declined to charge the officer last year after the state Division of Criminal Investigation reviewed the arrest.

SDSU (pictured) spokesman Mike Lockrem said Tuesday the university doesn't comment on legal or personnel matters.
SDSU (pictured) spokesman Mike Lockrem said Tuesday the university doesn't comment on legal or personnel matters.

SDSU (pictured) spokesman Mike Lockrem said Tuesday the university doesn't comment on legal or personnel matters.

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