Florida officer suspended after arresting two kids, ages 6 and 8, at school

A Florida police officer was suspended after he arrested two young children in school last week, including a 6-year-old who was acting out because of an apparent medical condition, a relative and police said.


Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said in a statement that the reserve school resource officer, Dennis Turner, did not obtain the approval of a commanding officer before making the arrests on Thursday, as department policy requires.

Turner was suspended while the department conducts an internal inquiry, Rolón said.

“The Orlando Police Department has a policy that addresses the arrest of a minor and our initial finding shows the policy was not followed,” Rolón said. “As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old this is very concerning to me.”

NBC affiliate WFLA reported that the 6-year-old was charged with battery after she kicked someone at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, a K-5th grade charter school in Orlando.

The girl’s grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, attributed her behavioral problems to sleep apnea, according to the station.

Kirkland said the girl was taken to a juvenile detention center Thursday where she was set to be processed.

The arrest was halted after a supervisor learned of it, Rolón said, and she was returned to school before being processed.

The 8-year-old, who was arrested in a separate incident, was processed and later released to a relative.

Additional information about that arrest was not immediately available.

The principal of Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy did not respond immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday, nor did a local police union.