Officer Dennis Turner was fired within a week of arresting the 6-year-old student of Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy.
Heartbreaking bodycam footage of an Orlando police officer shows how the authoritative figure arrested a 6-year-old girl and restrained her hands using zip ties despite her begging him to let go. News outlet WESH was given their confrontational video by the attorney representing the child's family. In the highly controversial video, Officer Dennis Turner can be seen walking into an office where Kaia Rolle, a student at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, can be seen seated with a woman. Turner then puts the child's arms behind her back and puts zip ties as she asks him, "What are those for?"
The incident that unfolded on September 19, 2019, saw the man walking Rolle outside despite her crying and saying, "Don't put handcuffs on," and "Help me, help me, please help me." As they approach the vehicle, Rolle continues wailing and begging, "Please let me go," and "I don't want to go in the police car." Responding to her pleas, the officer says that she had to and puts her in the back seat of his vehicle. After placing the child in the car, Turner heads back to the school and he is met with a distressed employee who asks him, "Are the restraints, are they necessary?"
To this Turner replies, "Yes, and, if she was bigger she would've been wearing regular handcuffs." In a police report for the incident, Turner mentioned that he had responded to the academy's report about a six-year-old, who had "battered three staff members by kicking and punching them." Rolle was charged with battery in connection with the episode and as the report quoted a staff member saying that she wanted to take legal action and testify against the girl in court. However, the school said that is not what had happened and the person revealed that she didn't want the girl to be arrested or press any charges.
A spokesperson for the school said, "We care about the well-being of our students. The officer's statements are inaccurate. We did not ask for either student to be arrested, neither did we want to pursue criminal charges." It was then brought to light that Turner had arrested another six-year-old during the same week and was fired within days of arresting Rolle. Shocked by Turner's actions, Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon apologized to the child and her family about the way the officer handled the situation.
"As a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved. We were all appalled. We could not fathom the idea of a 6-year-old being put in the back of a police car," expressed Rolon. To ensure that such unnecessary steps aren't taken against kids, the Orlando Police released a statement from Rolon on Tuesday regarding the incident. The statement revealed how measures have been taken to make sure that such traumatic arrests are not repeated. Arresting juveniles under the age of 12 now require the approval of the Deputy Chief.
Listing the changes, the Orlando Police Department posted Rolon's statement which read: I have take steps to ensure that this does not occur in the future. Please see the list of changes that I have implemented below:
- Juveniles Arresting Procedures policy- It now includes, " Any arrest of a juvenile under the age of 12 must receive a Deputy Chief's approval." (prior, it was a Manager's approval)
- Any charter school requesting an officer to work extra-duty at their school will now be managed by the school resource officer supervisors bot through the traditional extra-duty program.
- Within the first few days of learning this, I requested from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for an administrative expunction of the charges against the child arrested.