6-year-old Kaia Rolle, a first-grader at charter school, had a tantrum at school where she kicked and punched three school employees, leading to her arrest on a charge of misdemeanor battery.
As a teacher was calming the situation by reading the child a book, two Orlando Police officers put the child in restraints and arrested her. Officer Dennis Turner callously used the zip ties to restrain the child and said he would have use handcuffs if she was a little bigger. Another officer tightened the zip ties around her wrists as Kaia immediately began weeping.
“No … no, don’t put handcuffs on!” she wailed in body camera footage from the arrest
Many people feel the arrest was extreme because, by the time the officers came to cuff and arrest her, the girl had calmed down video shows.
The school staff member who had been reading to her told Kaia she had to go with the officers, and that her grandmother would pick her up later. While walking with the officer to the car, Kaia continued to cry, “I don’t wanna go in a police car.”
The second officer, replied, “You don’t want to? … You have to.”
“Please, give me a second chance,” the girl responded, still crying.
The officers put her in the backseat of the police SUV.
Turner then returned to the school’s office, telling one employee he needed a statement from her. “The restraints, are they necessary?” one school employee asked.
“Yes,” Turner said.
He then told the school administrators that the youngest person he ever arrested previously was 7 years old, a boy who he had caught stealing at an Albertsons. He said he arrested the boy because he “thought it was a joke” while the other children caught in the act had started crying. Orlando Police Department officials have said Turner violated agency policy on arresting children younger than 12, which requires officers to get a supervisor’s approval.
Florida currently does not have a minimum age for arrest.
Meralyn Kirkland, Kaia’s grandmother, said she is hoping that when people watch the footage of her granddaughter’s arrest, they will support a proposal to change that law by making 12 the minimum age for arrest.
Watch the shocking video below.