The family of a first grader says she was arrested, fingerprinted, and had mugshots taken for kicking someone at school
According to a disturbing new report, an Orlando elementary school resource officer has been suspended for arresting two children in two separate incidents. Both kids were only six years old.
Last week, six-year-old Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy student Kaia Rolle was arrested for throwing a temper tantrum at her school. Her grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland told CNN affiliate WKMG that she was called by the school on Thursday and informed that her granddaughter reportedly kicked someone and was being arrested and charged with battery. She claims that she tried to explain to School Resource Officer Dennis Turner about why her granddaughter acted out, but he refused to listen. “She has a medical condition that we are working on getting resolved,” she told him. When he asked what medical condition it was, she responded, “She has a sleep disorder, sleep apnea.” And he said, “Well, I have sleep apnea, and I don’t behave like that.”
At the station she claims that the first-grader was arrested, fingerprinted and had mugshots taken, which the police department disputes, maintaining in a statement that she was never processed. However, they do admit the situation wasn’t handled properly, as the arrest of minors under 12 requires a watch commander’s approval. When this “verified approval was not obtained” before the child arrived at the Juvenile Assessment Center the arrest process was “stopped immediately” and “the child was returned to the school.”
They also admit that the same school resource officer arrested another six-year-old in a separate incident, previously identifying the child as an eight-year-old. “One 6-year-old was processed and the other 6-year-old was returned to the school and not processed in any way after supervisors became aware of the arrests,” the Orlando police department said in an additional statement released on Monday, giving no further details about the incidents.
“The first transport officer was not aware an approval was not obtained, and the (child) was processed through the Juvenile Assessment Center. The child was released to a family member a short time later,” Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.
There is now an Internal Investigation happening and the officer is suspended until an outcome is determined. “As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old this is very concerning to me,” police Chief Orlando Rolon said in the statement. “Our Department strives to deliver professional and courteous service.”
The internet swiftly responded to the “arrests,” calling out the OPD for the ridiculousness of the situation.
“No 6-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them,” Kirkland says.
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