Melissa, who is mentally disabled, went to visit her son who is incarcerated in Franklin Correctional Facility, in Malone, NY. Unable to afford a motel room Melissa slept in the front seat of her truck, using her purse for a pillow. Unbeknownst to her, the Girl Scout knife that her Mom gave her 52 yrs. ago had been in her purse and apparently fell out of her purse and into the open box of food in the back seat. Upon arrival at the prison, the guards were transferring her sons food from the box to paper bags when one of the guards held up the Girl Scout knife. When she explained what she thought had happened, she was told by a supervisor, "zero tolerance, Ma'am". She explained to the supervisor that her Mom had given her that knife when they did Girl Scouts together and that her Mom had just died in her arms on 4/9/2012 and she would never give away this knife.
They searched and arrested and handcuffed her in front of all the visitors and Corrections Officers and took her to jail. She repeatedly asked for an attorney, they refused over and over and took mug shots, prints and chained her to a wall. They asked her why she hated the US, just because she is Indian. They never gave her an attorney, would not allow her to take her medicine that she needs on a regular basis, arraigned her then let her go on her own recognizance, as she has never been in trouble. She is emotionally and physically devastated by these harsh actions. Her son was not allowed to receive his food package and she was told she could NEVER set foot on any correctional property in NY state. Her son is ill and has repeatedly told her he is not getting enough food and lost 8 pounds in the first 2 weeks in prison. Please help us to get these charges dropped so no more injustice can occur, to this elder, Native woman.