A Florida grandmother was flabbergasted after learning tat her 6-year-old granddaughter had been arrested by a school resource officer on Thursday for throwing a tantrum, WFLA reported.
The child's grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, told the station that the 6-year-old Kaia Rolle was acting out while attending school at Lucious and Emma Nixon Elementary charter school, after a lack of sleep the night before. At one point, Kaia was taken to the principal's office where a school staff member grabbed at Kaia's wrists, prompting the 6-year-old to thrash around and kick her legs.
That's when the school resource officer — Officer Dennis Turner, of the Orlando Police Department — placed Kaia in handcuffs and transported her to the Juvenile Assessment Center in Orlando on a battery charge.
“What do you mean she was arrested, he said ‘there was an incident and she kicked somebody and she is being charged and she is on her way,'” Kirkland explained.
The first grader was handcuffed and taken to the juvenile center where Kirkland says the 6-year-old was fingerprinted and even had her mug shot taken.
Kirkland said that Kaia has a sleep disorder that the family is working to get resolved.
“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," Kirkland said.
Orlando Police Sgt. David Baker told the station that their department's policy for arresting anyone under the age of 12, officers are required to get permission from their watch commander — which Turner did not do.
"They told us we had to wait a few minutes because Kaia was being fingerprinted, and when she said finger printed it hit me like a ton of bricks,” Kirkland told the station. "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 center to be fingerprinted, mug shot"
The school resource officer also reportedly arrested an 8-year-old child in a separate incident, WKMG reported. Turner did not ask for permission for that child's arrest either, and an internal investigation into Turner's actions is ongoing.