A Florida police officer who arrested a 6-year-old little girl is now facing an internal investigation and reportedly, this isn’t the first time he’s arrested a child without following proper protocol.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kaia, a first-grade student at the Lucious and Emma Nixon Elementary charter school in Orlando, was handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention center where she fingerprinted after allegedly kicking an adult at school. She also had her mugshot taken, according to her grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland.
Kirkland explained Kaia, who suffers from sleep apnea, was acting out on the day in question due to lack of sleep. Kaia was taken to the principal’s office where a staff member reportedly grabbed her wrists. That’s when Kaia tried to squirm away and ended up kicking someone. Officer Dennis Turner then put the child in handcuffs.
“She has a medical condition that we are working on getting resolved, and he says, ‘What medical condition?’ ‘She has a sleep disorder, sleep apnea,’ and he says, ‘Well, I have sleep apnea, and I don’t behave like that,'” Kirkland explained, according to Click Orlando.
Turner took Kaia to the Juvenile Assessment Center on a battery charge, but he failed to get from approval from a watch commander, which is a requirement before arresting a child under the age of 12. Turner didn’t formally process Kaia, but the incident enraged her grandmother, who called out the officer for his behavior.
“How do you do that to a 6-year-old child and because she kicked somebody?” Kirkland asked. “A literal mug shot of a 6-year-old girl.”
Buzzfeed News reports that according to Lt. Wanda Miglio of the Orlando Police Department, Turner has been suspended from his duties while authorities investigate the incident. Chief Orlando Rolón added that the ordeal was “concerning.”
“As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old this is very concerning to me. Our Department strives to deliver professional and courteous service. My staff and I are committed to exceeding those standards and expectations.”
Prior to Kaia’s arrest, Turner allegedly arrested another child without getting approval. During a separate incident, the officer allegedly arrested an 8-year-old on a misdemeanor charge. The child was released to a relative a short time later.
According to USA Today, Rolón confirmed that the 8-year-old was processed at the juvenile center. However, Rolón said the officer stopped processing Kaia when he learned that it had not yet been approved.
Authorities are now investigating both incidents.
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[Feature Photo: Kaia Rolle/Facebook]