Imagine barely being able to tie your own shoes and already having a criminal record. That was almost the case for this child in Florida…
ORLANDO, Fla. – The family of a 6-year-old child in Florida is trying to make sense of how a temper tantrum landed the elementary school student in handcuffs and nearly stuck with a criminal record.
And now, the officer responsible for placing the grade school girl under arrest has been terminated from his department.
Public outrage came after the news circulated this week concerning the details that had led to the child’s arrest. Reports said that 6-year-old Kaia Rolle had thrown a fit at school and had kicked someone. Instead of handling the situation internally, SRO Dennis Turner ignored department protocol and placed the child under arrest and charged her with battery.
Department policy notes that any arrest of a juvenile under the age of 12 must be approved by a commanding officer. While Turner reportedly claimed he had gotten permission to make the arrest, new reports suggested that that was not the case.
On Monday, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón confirmed that Dennis Turner had been let go from the force. Turner had served as the School Resource Officer for Lucious and Emma Nixon Elementary charter school.
“This will not stop,” Rolón said concerning the investigation into the officer’s actions. “But at my level, I have the opportunity to be able to exercise that and when I came in today, I knew there was no choice here. He was going to be terminated.”
The girl’s grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland said that she couldn’t believe what she was hearing when she got the news.
“‘What do you mean she was arrested?’” Kirkland recalls saying when she got the call about her granddaughter’s arrest.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 23, 2019
The young girl reportedly suffers from sleep apnea, a condition that’s left her unable to get a proper night’s sleep. According to the girl’s grandmother, the lack of sleep prior to the incident was definitely a factor.
“There was an incident and she kicked somebody and she is being charged and she is on her way,” the school reportedly told her.
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After being placed in handcuffs and led out of the school, Rolle was reportedly driven 8 miles away to the Orlando Juvenile Detention Center, where she was fingerprinted and had a mug shot taken.
The booking was stopped when a superior officer found out about Turner’s arrest and halted the officer’s actions. The girl was returned to school.
“No six-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them and they were riding in the back of a police car and taken to a juvenile center to be fingerprinted, mug shot,” Kirkland went on to say.
The New York Post reported that Turner also reportedly took another young child into custody that same day – a 6-year-old boy who was arrested and processed into the Orlando Juvenile Detention Center, then later released to a relative that evening.
Turner had been suspended once the news became the center of attention, but the decision to terminate him came quickly after the allegations.