Promoter of pot ballot measures claiming harsh treatment of daughters at SDSU

Melissa Mentele, who is actively promoting the pot legalization measures for the ballot in South Dakota, was apparently all over social media this weekend accusing the SDSU Campus police of harsh treatment of her daughters, which came in connection with their arrests for resisting arrest and obstruction:

Melissa Mentele, a one-time candidate for state legislature from Emery, wrote in a lengthy public post that her two daughters were victims of a “violent attack” late Saturday after they were stopped by an officer as they walked through campus with a group of friends.


She was arrested on a charge of resisting arrest, Mentele wrote. Her other daughter was charged with obstruction, she said, for attempting to intervene when her sister was pulled to the ground.

Mentele went to Brookings to pick up the girls and took photos of her daughter’s injuries in the office of the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office.

The photos were attached to Mentele’s post, which had been shared more than 2,000 times by Monday morning.

Read it here.

In reading Melissa’s side of the story, there seems to be a bit of over-dramatization, and in looking at the pictures that she’s shared on social media… well.. I hate to point it out, but those actually look like injuries someone would receive if they were fighting the handcuffs placed on their wrists more than anything.

I’m sure that as a parent I’d be upset for my children as well, but I’m not thinking that we’re getting both sides of the story. And we probably won’t, as the appropriate agencies look into it, and the circumstances which caused the kids to come in conflict with law enforcement.

What do you think about all of this?

38 Replies to “Promoter of pot ballot measures claiming harsh treatment of daughters at SDSU”

  1. Thomas

    Commenting ONLY on the picture, the injuries appear to be the result of, and evidence for a court case against the girl, resisting arrest.

    Folks, no matter how wronged you believe yourself to be, resisting LEO’s is a supremely bad idea. Take the matter to court. There should be plenty of cell phone evidence to support, or refute, your claim. Ensure that part of that evidence doesn’t include YOU resisting or, heaven forbid, injuring a cop. Just my .02

  2. KM

    Oh, snap, this is going to be one big hot mess. Social media, what a wonderful thing;)

    Why for heaven’s sake would you attempt to stop an officer from arresting someone? I can understand wanting to defend a family member, but where are the lessons from the parents about how to behave when dealing with the law? Agreed, the officers handcuffed them and they made choices there after.

    More of the story is to come and the evidence will bring light to the who, what and why. This is not going away anytime soon. Considering what MM has committed to saying in several posts on SDWC, she definitely doesn’t keep her level of crazy in check…drama!

    What do liberals say…karma? Another fine example of the entitlement generation.

    1. Miranda Gohn

      Just the general inability of taking responsibility across the nation for one’s actions and how a situation could of been avoided and not led to escalation with a bad result drives me nuts and then playing the victim. I feel it is something that is just really hurting the Democratic Party. Fortunately not all Democrats, liberals or whatever are like that.

  3. Troy Jones

    As a parent, I would not post this on Facebook. Children aren’t social experiments and they aren’t objects to be used for attention (even if it is drawing attention to excessive force). The court, etc. are designed for that purpose.

    And, remember unless it was wholly unjustified, there is going to no be a discussion on why they were confronted in the first place and why they didn’t stand down. Thomas is right- You don’t go to war with Law Enforcement in the street. You use the legal system to do so.

    1. Anonymous

      Hey, if it will bring out the sympathy, stick-it-to-the-man vote so ma can legally get high, it’s all gooooooooodddddd!

      Pass me the Doritos.

    2. Tara Volesky

      You are so right Troy. This is a personal issue that needs to be dealt with privately. Children should not be exploited on social media.

  4. Anon

    Of course, the parent in me would be very upset. But the common sense adult in me would not plaster this all over social media. What I WOULD do is hire a good lawyer to represent my daughter’s interests and present their side of the story in as positive a spin as possible to the court.

    The Facebook drama tells me Mellisa lacks common sense. If she can’t handle a personal matter like a grown-up, can South Dakotans trust her to develop laws that govern life and death issues like assisted-suicide and drug related issues like legalizing marijuana? Credibility of the messenger is important, and Melissa has just demonstrated, again, that she has very little.

    1. Miranda Gohn

      After reading her facebook page her commenters posted this officer’s card and at least one made a threat as if they were going to do something to this officer. These are her supporters for the ballot measure? That is disturbing. Let the legal process sort this out!

      She made threats towards me for opposing and questioning the ballot and methods which surprised me. The press sure likes her.

  5. Franklin

    In putting together a few of the pieces made public, the Argus reports Mentele said her daughters “were on campus after the curfew when they were stopped by the officer.”

    On Mentele’s Facebook page, one of her friends, Jason Carrier, writes “I remember when you and I were arrested for curfew… while protesting curfew. We weren’t treated that way. I’m sorry this happened to her. I hope you guys find a good attorney.”

    This makes me wonder if the incident occured as a result of the girls being disrespectful or ignoring the officer. If Melissa was arrested for being out after curfew, what has she communicated to her daughters? That curfews don’t matter? That you don’t need to respect authority? Perhaps this is another example of the apple not falling far from the tree.

    I also wonder how many more times Melissa has been arrested in her life.

  6. Troy Jones

    Protesting curfew? Really? Curfew is a means to protect, especially if one of the person’s involved is still in high school and at a college.

    Talk to anyone who is involved in prevention of rape on college there are two principal environments for this to occur:

    1) Date rape/impaired capacity situations which is only tangentially relevant to this situation.
    2) During curfew active and aggressive patrolling of grounds where every person is questioned with regard to proper cause to be on campus (i.e. a student), proper reason for being where one is located and assessment if one is at risk because of being impaired.

  7. Troy Jones

    Anonymous 10:03: Campus Curfew isn’t what we think of from our parents. It is the period where one must be able to demonstrate right to be on campus, appropriate reason to be where you are (i.e. going to dorm from girlfriend’s) and capable of getting where you are going.

  8. Anne Beal

    The girl involved is 17, and according to a Facebook post by someone claiming to be the older sister, she blew 0.03.

    The curfew in the city of Brookings is midnight on Saturday nights and applies to kids under 16. The incident occurred at 11:30. So the city curfew had nothing to do with it.
    I don’t know anything about a campus curfew.

  9. Anne Beal

    A little checking reveals: there is no curfew on campus.
    The City of Brookings has a curfew for kids under 16, but on Saturday nights it’s midnight.
    The kid is 17 and the incident occurred at 11:30 pm

  10. Steve Sibson

    The mindset of the left’s so-called Social Justice Warriors:

    Cops are bad when they pick on us…so Black Lives Matter.
    Cops are good when they pick on our enemies (note Imagine2050 receives funding from Soros):

    Clearly Mentele wants to take the liberal position to the ‘We can do what we want” level. This is an example of the revolutionary flavor of the Democrat’s agenda, as they seek to destroy America’s rule of law.

  11. Anne Beal

    A little checking reveals :
    There is no curfew on campus.
    The city of Brookings has a curfew for kids under 16, and it is midnight on Saturday nights.
    The kid involved is 17 and the incident occurred at 11:30 pm

    Somebody claiming to be the older sister left a Facebook post about how she blew 0.03

  12. Anne Beal

    There is no curfew on campus, according to the Brookings municipal code 58-166 the curfew on Saturday nights is midnight and applies to kids under 16. The kid is 17 and the incident occurred at 11:30

    So it was something else

  13. Mentele

    The trolls are busy in here.

    Yes I protested the curfew going to 11pm and was arrested 8 times for it 23 & 24 years ago for it. I was a minor.

    The truth will all come out. We went public because this officer has a history that continues to be swept under the rug. I hope they release his record to the public.

    Our very public post is a public service to every single person on that campus and we hope those other victims find the strength to come forward & the mayor of Brookings starts taking the multiple complaints brought to him seriously. This officer is a danger to the public & should not be anywhere near any children.

    BTW my kids were not out after curfew. There is NO curfew for 17+ and my youngest is 2 months from her 18th B-Day & the oldest is 19.

    1. Anonymous

      But your underage child was drinking, right? She should accept responsibility for her actions, and you should stop enabling it.

    2. RJM

      “Mentele declined to comment in detail on the incident further, pending advice from an attorney.”

      Go comment on blogs in advance of bringing a lawsuit. Said no attorney ever.

    3. KM

      Awww…are we the trolls that scare you so much you require a counselor or are those the ones on the Brookings Register? I actually thought the troll who commented on the Argus Leader’s story was the scariest of all, so scary I had to step back from my computer;)

      Wasn’t it Obama who told us about the “rape culture” on college campuses? Isn’t it 1 in 4 women will be raped? Why would a mother let her two young daughters (one a minor) on a college campus, at midnight, with a real threat of this happening?

      When I attended MSU-Bozeman, there was a curfew on campus. It was discussed in our orientation class and the reasons why were pretty reasonable. When SDSU held orientation for their 2017 fall freshman, could that class have possibly been skipped?

      Are you taking any responsibility for the part your daughters played in this situation? I wonder, why your 2 girls were the only ones arrested? Did the others comply, answer questions and then were free to go? There’s video so I guess we’ll wait and see. If the officer did do something wrong, there will be consequences, just the same for your children.

      You mention not doing interviews, but you surely are one busy bee on social media. And, after reading the news coverage and your comments, many red flags start popping up. Has anyone ever told you there’s times one should just be quite?

      Oh, before you go there, I teach my children to respect LE. When an officer tells you to do something…you do it. That doesn’t mean you are a sheep, weak or a coward, it means you take responsibility for your actions and respect the law.

  14. Mentele

    Actually nothing I said isn’t already public….except clarifying I protested curfew 20+ years ago since Franklin & Troy both made comments not understanding the context of what Jason was saying.

    There is a LOT more to the story. I do want to clarify we are not filing suit against anyone.

  15. Miranda Gohn

    Over at South Dakota’s # 1 source for everything pot related blog Dakota Free Press a Marijuana enthusiast made an interesting comment.


    2017-09-12 at 21:18 .

    Mentele’s account is over the top, full of hyperbole (“brutally attacked”; “horrified screams”; “absolutely traumatized”; etc.), and ultimately not credible. The photos don’t support anything even close to resembling her description of what happened, and the fact that her underage daughter tested positive for alcohol indicates that there’s much more to the story than her claims, which border on preposterous.

    Here’s what probably happened: Madison was found in a public place after curfew; law enforcement made contact and smelled alcohol; the PBT confirmed that alcohol had been consumed; she was cited for underage drinking; the officer attempted to make a lawful arrest; she resisted, and thus parlayed a class 2 misdemeanor into a class 1 misdemeanor. Law enforcement will often elect to not charge the lesser offense in situations like this, so the absence of any additional charges means nothing.

    Her daughters screwed up and are compounding it with these ridiculous claims. Take your lumps, learn you lesson, and move on.

    If Mentele wants to pursue this, she should step away from the ballot measures. Her continued involvement will only hurt their chances for success.


    2017-09-12 at 21:43 .

    Sheer speculation indeed … based on decades of experience working in criminal justice. Take it for what it’s worth, but Melissa wasn’t there either. She believes her daughters; I don’t.

    Like I said, it’s not uncommon for the lesser violation (underage drinking) to not be charged when there’s a more serious violation (resisting arrest) that’s available to the arresting officer.

    If the daughter did in fact produce a positive PBT, as this post indicates, then that’s an obviously legitimate basis for an arrest.

    1. KM

      Miranda – Based on life experience and learning from similar situations other people have encountered, you’ve probably got it nailed.

      Approached, questioned, tested and then arrested. Do what the officer tells you to do, if you are arrested and innocent, you will be released. If the officer used excessive force, there will be proof. Own up to your mistakes, we all make them. Never resist arrest, never attempt to stop an officer from doing their job. There’s a generation that believe this not to be true; they determine what warrants an arrest, always the victim. My parents would of had my a** tore up.

      I would also agree MM should take time to focus on her family and take a step back, but we are who we are.

      1. Miranda Gohn

        Hey KM,

        I am wondering if we are seeing a pattern of professional victimhood with a combination of a War against Cops and agree completely with your reply. My parents would of let me sit in jail so I could think about what I had done and how I let myself get into that situation. Another form of punishment would occur when I got home.

        Just thinking of the times I could of attempted to sue someone or a business but chose not to. I certainly would not have contacted the press. It was all handled discreetly and would of been had the decision been made to pursue it legally. MM prior to removing her social media posts in the various news organizations was threatening to sue a number of the other posters for slander or anyone that questioned her. She threatened to sue me here on DWC. Everything is over the top! If we were back in the late 80’s early 90’s would we see MM doing the Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer talk show circuit on a regular basis?

        1. KM

          Ha, I love some of your references. Jerry Springer, true that;)

          I think SD college campuses have only begun to see what SJW’s are capable of. Was it USD where someone attempted to have them become a sanctuary university? The pattern has been set and now we are in trending….

          I did see the post where she says her family doesn’t “comply” and we are not “sheep”. Screen shots are easy to take and I’m sure there’s a file being put together. Social media can be very, very bad and this is a prime example. Why expose your children to the world like that? We don’t even let family members put pics of our kids on their FB pages. Beyond me, I guess.

          Over the top is an understatement…

  16. Benz

    Mentele was a supporter of “Feel the Burn” and ran for a SD House seat in 2016…

    May explain a few things…

    On the Democrat bench…Amazing


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