A school officer will be subjected to an internal investigation after arresting a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old Sept. 19 on school grounds, the Orlando Police Department said.
Dennis Turner arrested the students separately on misdemeanor charges the same day breaking the department’s rule of requiring approval from a watch commander to arrest students under 12 years of age, BuzzFeed reports.
Chief Orlando Rolon said in a statement how the situation concerns him a lot because he is a grandparent to three children who are under the age of 11. He added that his department strives to “deliver professional and courteous service.”
The arresting of two minor children drew headlines after the grandmother of Kaia Rolle, the 6-year-old arrested, said that her granddaughter was handcuffed and taken in a police car. The national outrage prompted the police department to initiate an internal investigation, BuzzFeed reports.
The grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, told WLFA that she received a call on Sept. 19 from Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, the charter school the first-grader attends in Orlando, informing her of her granddaughter’s arrest on a battery charge after throwing a tantrum.
During the WLFA interview, Kirkland said that her granddaughter was handcuffed, fingerprinted and had mug shots taken.
With tears in her eyes, Kirkland said that no 6-year-old should be telling people that they have gotten handcuffed, driven in the back of a police car and taken to a juvenile center to get fingerprinted and mug shots.
The 6-year-old was released from custody and sent to the school before she was processed, the Orlando Police Department said to BuzzFeed.
The 8-year-old who was also arrested for separate misdemeanor charges did not have the same outcome as the 6-year-old. The 8-year-old did get processed through the local Juvenile Assessment Center and released to a family member later, BuzzFeed reports.
Turner will be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.