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Cop Arrested 2 Kids at School in Separate Incidents. They're 6

Resource officer suspended after arresting 2 young kids
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2019 8:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – A school resource officer in Florida arrested a 6-year-old last week. Maybe the only thing more unusual than that is the same officer also arrested another 6-year-old on the same day, in a separate incident. Now the officer has been suspended as the Orlando Police Department investigates. The details:

  • The first kid: Kaia Rolle, 6, was arrested Thursday at the Lucious & Emma Nixon Academy, an Orlando charter school, her grandmother tells WKMG. Kaia threw a tantrum in class, then ended up kicking a staffer trying to calm her down, per the Washington Post. Grandmother Meralyn Kirkland tells CBS News that Kaia has sleep apnea and didn't sleep well the night before, which probably caused her tantrum in class.
  • The other 6-year-old: Police haven't released any details, even the gender of the student. The child was processed at the Juvenile Assessment Center and released to a family member. Kaia was sent to the juvenile center, too, but she was never processed and eventually sent back to school.

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  • The officer: Dennis Turner, who retired from the Orlando force in 2018 but works as a resource officer through the Reserve Officer Program, made both arrests on misdemeanor charges. He is now suspended pending an internal investigation, according to a police statement at Heavy.com. "As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old this is very concerning to me," says Police Chief Orlando Rolon.
  • Against protocol: In Orlando, officers aren't allowed to arrest anyone younger than 12 without getting a supervisor's approval. Turner didn't get that approval. The unnamed 6-year-old was processed before anyone realized that, but Kaia's processing was stopped in time.
  • Angry: Kaia's grandmother says she is incensed. "She has a medical condition that we’re working on getting resolved," Kirkland recalls telling the arresting officer. "So he says, 'What medical condition?' I said, 'She has a sleep disorder, sleep apnea.' He says, 'Well, I have sleep apnea and I don’t behave like that.'"
  • Prior history: Turner came up in a 2016 Orlando Sentinel report on excessive use of force because of an incident in which he used a Taser on a man five times. "The last two jolts came after the suspect was on the floor and had stopped resisting," per the story. "Turner was given a written reprimand for excessive force."
(Read more Florida stories.)

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