Six-year-old girl arrested at Florida school

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Orlando police officer arrested six-year old Kaia Rolle from school
Orlando police officer arrested six-year old Kaia Rolle from school

Police body cam footage released on 25 February has captured the moment a visibly distressed child was arrested at her school in Orlando, Florida in September 2019.

The six-year-old girl was restrained with zip ties and escorted to a waiting police car after misbehaving in class.

Lawyers for her family at Smith and Eulo Law Firm told the BBC that the family chose to release the footage because they wanted to show how the arrest unfolded.

The person whose bodycam captured the ordeal was fired after an internal investigation by the Orlando Police Department.

Officer Dennis Turner had not followed the correct protocol, which states that a police officer must have their supervisor’s approval to arrest any child under the age of 12.

In the video, Kaia can be seen seated and listening to a teacher read as officers approach her.

After she asks what the zip ties are for, an officer, Dennis Turner, responds: “They’re for you.”

Kaia starts to cry as a second officer, who has not been identified, binds her wrists.

“Help me. Help me, please,” she can be heard pleading and crying, as officers restrain her.

As the officers lead her to a patrol SUV, Kaia can be heard saying: “I don’t wanna go in a police car.”

The second officer replies: “You have to.”

“Please, give me a second chance,” she sobs.

Turner was later fired for violating agency policy.

The first-grader’s family released the footage of the September incident to the public late on Monday.

According to the Orlando police department, a supervisor must first be present to approve the arrest of a child younger than age 12. Turner reportedly did not contact one.

In the clip, he brags about having arrested other minors. and attempts to reassure school officials that the juvenile detention center is not that bad.

He tells administrators he has made more than 6,000 arrests in his career, including of a seven-year-old, for shoplifting. School employees tell him that Kaia is six.

“Now she has broken the record,” Turner replies.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, both Kaia and a six-year-old boy Turner arrested at another school the same day were initially charged with misdemeanor battery.

The state attorney Aramis Ayala announced last September, however, that she would dismiss the charges against both children.

In an interview with the Sentinel following the video’s release, Meralyn Kirkland, Kaia’s grandmother, noted that after the arrest, Kaia had her fingerprints taken and needed a stepstool for a mugshot to complete processing while at the juvenile facility.

“You’re discussing traumatizing a six- and seven-year-old – and that’s a boasting right for you?” she said. “These are babies.” Kirkland said that Rolle had previously worked with the school to address her behavioral side effects from sleep apnea.

She added Kaia had since been transferred to a private school. Kirkland is also now petitioning the state to make 12 the official minimum age for arrest.

Currently, Florida does not have a legal minimum age.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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