Bodycam Shows Orlando Police Officer Arresting Girl, 6, Who Kicked Teachers During School Tantrum
Upsetting bodycam footage has emerged showing a six-year-old girl from Florida sobbing as she is arrested.
The footage shows Orlando Police Officer Dennis Turner responding to an incident at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy with another officer, after first grader Kaia Rolle allegedly hit three members of staff during a temper tantrum.
Officer Turner can then be seen directing the other officer to restrain Kaia with zip ties and escort her to the back of a police car. The elementary school pupil was arrested on the charge of misdemeanour battery, a charge that was dropped the following day.
Young Kaia can be heard weeping and begging the officers not to place zip tie restraints on her wrists, crying ‘Please let me go’ and ‘Help me, help me, please!’.
As she is led away, Kaia can once again be heard to asking one officer to give her another chance, pleading ‘I don’t want to go to the police car’ as she is escorted from the school building. The officer can be heard to simply reply, ‘You have to’.
Later in the footage, Officer Turner can be heard telling the teachers that the move had been necessary and that officers would have put regular handcuffs on Kaia’s wrists rather than zip ties ‘if she was bigger’.
Officer Turner then went on to speak about other children he had arrested in his career, stating the youngest one had been just seven years old. When informed Kaia was just six, he responded, ‘Now she has broken the record’.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Kaia had thrown a temper tantrum earlier that day, during which she had hit and kicked three staff members. However, by the time officers had arrived, she had calmed down.
According to Kaia’s grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, the little girl had been suffering from sleep apnea, which had caused her to act out in class.
Meralyn told the Tampa Bay Times how upset she had felt watching the footage, particularly the part where Officer Turner ‘callously’ spoke about arresting other children:
You’re discussing traumatising a six and seven-year-old — and that’s a boasting right for you? These are babies.
Going forward, Meralyn hopes those watching footage of her granddaughter’s arrest will support a proposal to change legislation by making 12 the minimum age for arrest. She also wants to see school resource officers given better training and preparation, especially when working with young children.
The very same day as Kaia’s arrest, Officer Turner arrested a six-year-old boy at Nixon Academy for misdemeanour battery in an unrelated incident. In this case, the child’s arrest was stopped by superiors before the child was forced to endure the full arrest process.
Officials from Orlando Police Department have said Officer Turner violated policy by arresting children under the age of 12, as he had not obtained a supervisor’s approval. However, as Florida does not have a minimum age for arrest, his decision to violate this policy was not illegal.
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WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando/YouTube
Tampa Bay Times