ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS/AP) — Authorities say a Florida police officer has been suspended and is being investigated after arresting a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old for separate incidents at their schools.
CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV reports that Officer Dennis Turner was suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the Orlando Police Department. The arrests were on unrelated misdemeanor charges, authorities said.
The department’s policy requires an officer to get the approval of a watch commander before arresting anyone under age 12.
WKMG says that didn’t happen during last Thursday’s arrests.
The 8-year-old was processed at the Juvenile Assessment Center before being released to a family member. The child’s gender wasn’t released, nor was the reason for the arrest.
The 6-year-old girl was returned to her school from the juvenile center and wasn’t processed, after a transport officer found out approval wasn’t obtained.
Her grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, told WKMG she is outraged.
“No 6-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them,” Kirkland said.
She said her granddaughter is a first grader at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy.
Kirkland received a call Thursday saying her granddaughter was arrested by the school’s resource officer.
“I said, ‘What do you mean, she was arrested?’ They said there was an incident and she kicked somebody and she’s being charged and she’s on her way,” Kirkland recalled.
Kirkland said her granddaughter was acting out in class, a side effect of a lack of sleep due to a medical condition.
“He says, ‘What medical condition?’ ‘She has a sleep disorder, sleep apnea,’ and he says, ‘Well, I have sleep apnea, and I don’t behave like that,”‘ Kirkland said.
Kirkland insists things should have never gone that far with her granddaughter.
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