- Dennis Turner, a retired Orlando Police Department officer, was investigated and fired after reports revealed he had arrested two 6-year-old children in the span of one week.
- Newly released police body camera footage shows how Turner handled the arrest: He zip-tied the 6-year-old victim's hands as she begged to be let go.
- The child in the video, Kaia Rolle, was reportedly acting out due to fatigue caused by her problems with sleep apnea.
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Newly released police body camera footage shows the moment a Florida police officer arrested a 6-year-old girl and zip-tied her wrists as she begged to be let go.
Dennis Turner, a former police officer with the Orlando Police Department, was investigated and fired shortly after he arrested two six-year-olds in one week in September 2019.
An attorney representing one of the victims, 6-year-old Kaia Rolle, gave the local news station WESH body camera footage that shows how Turner handled her arrest.
The video showed Turner approaching Rolle to restrain her hands in an office at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy. Confused, Rolle asked the officer what the zip ties were for. He replied, "It's for you."
Realizing what was happening, Rolle began to protest the restraints, crying out for help as Turner secured the zip ties around her wrist.
"No, I don't want to put those handcuffs on," Rolle cried out as Turner secured her wrists behind her back.
The footage went on to show Turner walking Rolle to a police squad car and sitting her in the back as she begged to be left alone.
"Please let me go," Rolle can be heard pleading in the backseat of the police car.
Turner stepped in after school officials called the police
According to Rolle's grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, Rolle was arrested for throwing a temper tantrum.
Kirkland attributed Rolle's behavioral problems to fatigue from dealing with sleep apnea, which the family was working on resolving. Turner had reportedly arrested another 6-year-old boy at the same school, who was later released to a family member.
"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," Kirkland told WKMG-TV News 6 in September.
Prosecutors charged both children with misdemeanor battery, but then dropped them the following day. Details about the boy's arrest were not made public.
According to a police document, Turner was responding to a complaint that Rolle had kicked and punched three staff members, one of whom wanted to press charges against the elementary schooler.
School officials say they never wanted anyone arrested
Staff members at the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy disputed the police report, claiming they never wanted to press charges or have the young girl arrested in the first place.
"We care about the well-being of our students. The officer's statements are inaccurate. We did not ask for either student to be arrested, neither did we want to pursue criminal charges," a spokesperson for the school told WESH.
The footage later depicted school staff members questioning the way Turner handled the arrest and whether the restraints were "necessary."
Turner replied that had Rolle been bigger in stature that he would have used handcuffs instead. He also said that Rolle had "broken a record" for his youngest arrest, which had previously been an 8-year-old child.
"6,000 people I've arrested over the 28 years," Turner said during a conversation with staff members. "She's 6? Now she's broken a record."
Five days after the arrest, Orlando police chief Orlando Rolón fired Turner, who was working at the charter school through its Reserve Officer Program, consisting mainly of retired law enforcement officers who volunteer their assistance to patrol squads.
Police told WKMG-TV News 6 that if a child is under 12 years old, the officer needs to get approval from a watch commander before making an arrest. Investigators say both minors were arrested without the appropriate approval process.
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