Mitchell man accused of obstruction over mask mandate trial to begin August 2nd

MITCHELL, S.D.(KMIT)- A trial date was set for a Mitchell man charged with obstruction after he refused to leave a Mitchell School Board meeting last September after not complying with the school district’s mask mandate.  Reed Bender’s jury trial was set for August 2nd at the Davison County Courthouse in downtown Mitchell.  Mitchell police attempted to remove Bender from the meeting after he refused to wear a mask in compliance with the Mitchell School District’s mask mandate, which had been in effect for just over a month.  Bender initially resisted the officers, and police threatened to use a Taser on him.  He left the meeting shortly thereafter.  The incident attracted national and even international attention during the debate over masks and personal freedoms.  The obstruction charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.  Bender turned himself in to authorities after he was indicted by a grand jury in October.  He was then released on a personal recognizance bond.  A motions hearing was set for July 8th.

Bender is running for school board in Mitchell.