Mom releases dashcam, bodycam video of daughter's arrest by SDSU officer

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KSFY) - KSFY has gotten its first look at video from of a high-profile arrest at South Dakota State University last year.

Body camera image of the arrest

For the first time, KSFY saw dashcam and bodycam footage from the officer involved in the arrests.

Melissa Mentele, the mother of two of the girls involved, released the video to KSFY after a court appearance on Monday.

It is important to note that no charges were filed against the officer for the incident. But Melissa said the nine months since then have been draining on the family.

In September, Melissa posted details about the arrest of her two daughters on Facebook.

She said the officer threw her daughter Madison to the ground, leaving her with bruises on her arms, back and legs. Melissa said the officer threw her other daughter Lillian to the ground for trying to intervene. It's a night she said her daughters won't forget.

"They have lasting scars from this. My youngest child will never be the same. There will never be a law enforcement contact that she has for the rest of her life that will not be shadowed by what happened in Brookings," Melissa said.

But, according to the arrest report, Officer Jason Baker tells a different story. One of two sisters refusing his commands. He said he approached the sisters with a group of people he said were acting suspicious.

Documents and the video show the officer telling Melissa's daughters to get to the ground and stop resisting.

In the video, one can see Madison, a minor at the time, struggling.

Officer baker said "went hands on and grabbed juvenile 1's arm" to restrain her, according to court documents.

Melissa recently watched the video in its entirety and said she could not help but break down after seeing it.

"The hard part for us is that we have spent the last nine months going off of what officer baker told us," she said. "His recollection of the incident, his explanation, we were led to believe this incident happened over a period of time as in minutes that these kids were given commands, given an opportunity to comply, told what was happening, and then to see the video yesterday, hearing them scream for me and to hear the officer tell Lillian that is the least of our worries. Killed me as a mom."

Lillian was found guilty of obstruction for trying to intervene during her sister's arrest. A resisting charge was dropped. Madison, who was underage at the time, was never charged.

"We’re not angry with Brookings Police Department. We're not angry at the UPD as a whole. We're not angry at SDSU as a whole. We're angry at this officer for his actions," Melissa said.

KSFY reached out to SDSU for comment but were told the university does not comment on legal or personnel matters.

KSFY also reached out to the Brookings State's Attorney for comment but have not heard back.