An Orlando police officer arrested a 1st-grader this Thursday after she allegedly threw a tantrum and kicked a staff member at her elementary school. Now, that police officer has been fired, according to KRON 4.
Speaking to WFLA News Channel 8 on Saturday, Meralyn Kirkland said she was shocked and outraged when she learned that Orlando police had placed her 6-year-old granddaughter, Kaia, in handcuffs and carted her off to a juvenile detention center where she was fingerprinted and even had her mugshot taken.
Officer Dennis Turner, who arrested Kaia, also arrested an 8-year-old boy the same day on unrelated charges. But according to department policy, officers are supposed to get approval from their watch commander before they arrest anyone under 12-years-old. Turner did not do so before he conducted both arrests and was subsequently suspended and placed under investigation. But during a press conference this Monday, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said it’s now clear that Turner has to go.
“As the chief of police one of the top priorities is to earn and protect the trust between the community and its officers,” Rolon said. “Because of this incident, the trust has been put in question.”
Rolon added that he and other members of his department were appalled when they heard of the children’s arrests.
“It’s still shocking to us,” he said. “To have something like this happen was completely and totally a surprise to all of us.”
During his press conference, Rolon corrected earlier reports that said the boy Turner arrested was 8-years-old. He’s actually 12.
Featured image via screen grab/WFLA