Orlando police are being investigated after they reportedly took a 6-year-old into custody for throwing a tantrum.
Meralyn Kirkland is demanding answers after her 6-year-old granddaughter, Kaia Rolle, was handcuffed, arrested and had her mugshot taken for throwing a typical childhood tantrum. School resource officer Dennis Turner, who is a former police officer “has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation” The New York Times reports.
Police Chief Orlando Rolón said in a statement, “As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old, this is very concerning to me.”
Back in 1998, Turner was charged with aggravated child abuse in connection with his 7-year-old son. In 2016, “he was reprimanded for using excessive force after stunning a man five times with a Taser.” Meralyn Kirkland was informed that her granddaughter had been arrested after she received a call from Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, a local charter school. Kirkland said her granddaughter suffers from a medical condition where she can throw tantrums due to a lack of sleep, WKMG reports.
Kaia was having tantrum in class when, “A staff member grabbed her wrists in order to calm her down and that’s when she lashed out and kicked, according to Kirkland.”
“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.’”
“No 6-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 center to be fingerprinted, mug shot.”
Kaia was taken into custody at a Juvenile Assessment Center and charged with battery. The child has a court date on Oct. 16, NewsOne reports.
Officer Turner had served on the police force for 23 years before he retired in June 2018, according to the department. By the end of his career, he was earning over $100,000 a year, according to a database of public officials’ salaries maintained by The Orlando Business Journal. He is now under investigation by the Orlando Police Department.
Press play below for more on this story.