Police in Orlando, Florida, announced Monday they’ve fired the officer who arrested two children last week.
Speaking at a press conference, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said after suspending school resource officer Dennis Turner, the department had decided to part ways with him.
“As Chief of Police, one of my top priorities is the trust between the community and our officers and because of this incident that trust has been put in question,” Chief Rolón said. “Officer Turner was immediately suspended and as of this morning Officer Turner is no longer employed by the Orlando Police Department.”
Turner arrested six-year-old Kaia Rolle last Thursday at a local charter school after she threw a tantrum because she hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before due to a medical condition.
The Washington Post reports:
Kaia’s arrest came after the little girl had a tantrum in class because her sleep apnea prevented her from getting enough rest the night before, [Kaia’s grandmother Meralyn] Kirkland said. The episode resulted in a trip to the office, where a school staffer tried to grab Kaia’s wrists to calm her down — prompting her to kick back, she said.
“She has a medical condition that we’re working on getting resolved,” Kirkland said she told Turner. “So he says, ‘What medical condition?’ I said, ‘She has a sleep disorder, sleep apnea.’
He says, ‘Well, I have sleep apnea and I don’t behave like that.’ ”
Kaia was arrested, thrown in the back of a police car and charged with battery.
“The first-grader was handcuffed, fingerprinted even had a mugshot taken,” reports CBS Miami, adding the department requires arrests of people under the age of 12 to be approved by a manager. Officer Turner reportedly did not seek this permission.
Chief Rolón said at a press conference Monday another child arrested that day was also 6-years of age, and not 8 as previously reported.
Officer Turner had retired in 2018, but was a member of the department’s Reserve Officer Program, made up mainly of retired cops.
Police Chief Rolón says he’s made staff aware of a new policy prohibiting the arrest of a juvenile without manager’s approval.