A school resource officer was terminated Monday, Sept. 23, after he arrested two 6-year-old students last week without the proper approval of a commanding officer, Chief Orlando Rolon said.
Dennis Turner was working as a school resource officer at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, a charter school in Orlando, Florida, when he arrested the first-graders during separate incidents, the chief said.
Meralyn Kirkland said her 6-year-old granddaughter Kaia Rolle was arrested on Thursday, Sept. 19, after having a tantrum in which she kicked a school staff member.
Kaia had been handcuffed, taken to the juvenile detention center, fingerprinted, and even had a mug shot taken, according to ClickOrlando.
Although Kirkland explained Kaia’s behavior was a side effect of a lack of sleep from a medical condition, but Turner didn’t understand.
“He said, ‘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 said.
Her arrest then was stopped after a supervisor learned of it and she was returned to school before he was officially processed at the juvenile assessment center.
A second child, a 6-year-old boy, was arrested at the same school that day, was processed and later released to a relative, CNN revealed.
Rolon said that he has reminded officers of the department policy that requires officers to get approval before arresting any child under the age of 12.
There was no choice but to fire Turner after he arrested the children in violation of policy, Rolon stated.