A grandmother from Florida has been left outraged after her six-year-old granddaughter was arrested ‘for kicking somebody’.
On Friday, September 20, Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy pupil Kaia Rolle was arrested by a school resource officer and charged with battery before being taken to a juvenile detention centre in handcuffs.
After being driven to the Orlando based centre in the back of a police car, young Kaia had her fingerprints taken by officers and also had to have her mugshot taken.
As reported by Click Orlando, Kaia had been acting up while in class; a side effect of a sleep condition her family had been working to resolve.
After misbehaving in class, Kaia was sent to the principal’s office where a staff member attempted to hold her wrists in a bid to calm her down. It was at this point Kaia lashed out and kicked, leading to her arrest.
Kaia’s grandmother Meralyn Kirkland was left in complete shock and disbelief upon hearing the news, telling 10News WTSP:
I said ‘what do you mean she was arrested?’ They said, ‘there was an incident and she kicked somebody, and she’s being charged’.
[…] No six-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them. And they were riding in the back of a police car, and taken to a juvenile detention centre to be fingerprinted, mug shot.
Meralyn attempted to explain to school Officer Dennis Turner – a school resource officer from the Orlando Police Department – why Kaia had been acting out in this way. However, Officer Turner was reportedly dismissive and unsympathetic when Meralyn informed him about Kaia’s sleep apnea.
As reported by Click Orlando, Meralyn said:
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’.
Kaia was reportedly the second child Officer Turner had arrested that day, with the first being just eight years old.
Department policy dictates officers must seek approval from their watch commander before arresting any child under the age of 12 years old. However, Sgt. David Baker of the Orlando Police Department has stated Officer Turner did not follow through with this procedure, Click Orlando reports.
The Orlando Police Department are reportedly now conducting an internal investigation into the arrest. Kaia has since returned home, however the status of her battery charge is unknown.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.