‘I was very scared:’ Families react to Sioux Falls Police use of force in parking garage

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An incident between Sioux Falls Police and a group of people in a car in a downtown parking garage is under review by the department.

It happened shortly after 3:00 a.m. Sunday.

Since then cellphone videos of what some are calling excessive force have made their way to social media.

TyJon Hardiman says she was initially at a birthday party, but over the course of the night she ended up at a party at the Holiday Inn in downtown Sioux Falls.

She admits the gathering was a little too loud, and they were told to quiet down.

She says someone at the party ended up getting in an altercation with a hotel worker.

Once everyone started leaving, TyJon got into the backseat of a 17-year-old friend’s car.

TyJon said she didn’t know the woman accused of assaulting the worker was also in the car.

Early Sunday morning, Sioux Falls Police responded to the report of the assault at the downtown Holiday Inn.

“On scene, the officers identified the vehicle the suspect was in and gave the driver clear commands to stop and the driver did not. When the fleeing vehicle got caught in traffic, the officer attempted to shut the vehicle off by reaching in through the window. The driver rolled up the window and trapped the officer’s arm and drug the officer for a short distance,” Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns said.

19-year-old TyJon Hardiman says she didn’t see that happen.

“If he tried to turn off her car or anything, I wasn’t aware of it,” 19-year-old TyJon Hardiman said.

But her knee still hurts from what she does know happened.

“I was very scared when they threw me to the ground. I didn’t know what to do. I had my hands behind my back. I thought I was going to get killed. They were already threatening to shoot us for no reason. I did not know what happened,” Hardiman said.

Edward Williams’ daughter Janaisa is the 17-year-driver who now faces multiple charges in adult court, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Much like TyJon, Williams says his daughter had nothing to do with the assault at the hotel.

“I’ve got video showing where the police, when they got to the car, how he busted the windows out my car. You had the passenger door open. You had the back doors open, but you still busted the window out my car. You drug my daughter out of the car. You threw her on the ground. You had her knee on her neck,” Janaisa Williams’ Father Edward Williams said.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns says officers are not trained to put a knee on someone’s neck.

“I am aware that that is alleged to have been in the video. We’ll be doing a full review of that,” Burns said.

TyJon’s mother is appalled by what she’s seen, adding that her daughter is one of the people who helped create a human shield for police on the night of the violence at the Empire Mall.

“To watch my daughter drug on the ground like an animal by the police that are supposed to be here to protect her. Instead I watched them abuse her and that’s how I feel, when she just finished using her body as a shield to protect them,” TyJon’s Mother Ayana Hardiman-Davis said.

“I was there for you guys, but you weren’t there for me. You guys scared me,” Hardiman said.

Police Chief Matt Burns says officers did find the person accused of assaulting the hotel staff member in the car.

21-year-old Lovetee Teah was arrested and charged.

During Monday morning’s police briefing, Chief Burns said he was aware of a social media video.

He says that is only a small piece of the interaction.

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