An investigation has been launched after a police officer arrested a six-year-old girl at a school in Orlando, Fla.
Her outraged grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, told CBS affiliate News 6 WKMG that the Grade 1 student was arrested for having a temper tantrum.
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“I said ‘what do you mean she was arrested’? They said there was an incident and she kicked somebody and she’s being charged.”
Her granddaughter was arrested on a charge of battery, according to Kirkland.
In a statement to Global News, Orlando police said the incident occurred Thursday at a charter school.
The school resource officer that made the arrest, Dennis Turner, has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal probe. OPD said he also arrested an eight-year-old boy at the same school in an unrelated incident.
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Both young children were arrested on misdemeanor charges. Under the police force’s policy, a watch commander must grant approval for officers to arrest any children under 12.
“Our initial finding shows the policy was not followed,” said Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.Tweet This
“As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old, this is very concerning to me. Our department strives to deliver professional and courteous service. My staff and I are committed to exceeding those standards and expectations.”
The OPD said that the transporting officer determined approval was not obtained for the child’s arrest and processing was stopped “immediately.”
“The child was returned to the school prior to being processed at the Juvenile Assessment Center,” Rolon said.
Orlando police did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking if the child had been fingerprinted or had a mugshot taken, but a spokesperson told Time magazine those things did not occur.
Kirkland explained to WKMG that her granddaughter was possibly acting out due to sleep deprivation as she suffers from sleep apnea.
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