Dennis Turner, a former Orlando police officer working as a school resource officer in the city, was fired Monday after he arrested two 6-year-old children last Thursday in separate incidents, The New York Times reports.
Turner was on duty as a school resource officer at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, an Orlando charter school, when he arrested the children on misdemeanor charges.
A statement from the Orlando Police Department said the officer had not received authorization to arrest the children and that a police supervisor took ‘immediately corrective actions.’
Aramis Ayala, the state attorney that serves Orange County, during a press conference Monday said her office never intended to prosecute the children.
“I refuse to knowingly play any role in the school-to-prison pipeline at any age,” she said. “These very young children are to be protected, nurtured and disciplined in a manner that does not rely on the criminal justice system to do it.”
Kaia Rolle was handcuffed and taken to juvenile detention after the incident. Her grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, said Turner arrested Rolle after she kicked a school staff member who was attempting to calm her down following a tantrum.
Rolle was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a squad car.
“She’s charged with battery,” Kirkland told news outlets. “No 6-year-old 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 detention center to be finger-printed and mug shot.”