Kids are tiny humans with a mind of their own. However, they need guidance, and most kids between zero to ten years are often considered impressionable.
Sometimes, these tiny human versions commit many offenses, like breaking expensive things or throwing tantrums. However, these are never schemes, nor do they think about the consequences. Hence, it leaves them feeling sorry, especially after being scolded or caught.
Parents and teachers have been saddled with the responsibility of raising kids. Even though there are always loose ends to correct and nip in the bud, a child is one until they attain a certain age.
For this Orlando grandmother, she witnessed one of the worst pains a guardian could. No, it was not the death of a child but the maltreatment of her young granddaughter by a police officer.
Picture of 6-year-old Kaia Rolle | Source:Youtube/WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando
WHO WAS THE POLICE OFFICER?
Dennis Turner was a reserve officer serving at the Orlando Police Department. Owing to his position as a reserve officer, Turner was answerable to the chief of police, who meted out judgment regarding the incident.
Picture of police officer Dennis Turner seen arresting Kaia. | Source: Youtube/CBS News
THE DISHEARTENING SCENARIO
In September 2019, Turner showed up at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy in Orlando with the aim to cuff two underaged students—a boy and a girl, both six years old.
In a video that surfaced online, body camera footage showed the incident. The adult could be seen whisking a young girl named Kaia Rolle to a police car.
Picture of police officer Dennis Turner seen whisking Kaia to a police car. | Source: Youtube/CBS News
First, he showed her the handcuffs he used on her, then asked the minor to turn around before leading her away from the classroom to the back of his vehicle. While all this was happening, Kaia could be heard saying, "Please, help me, help me, please," as she also asked for a "second chance."
Reports had it that the police acted against the principal's will, but in the video, another adult was present who did not object to the girl's arrest. In fact, the person said:
"Okay Kaia, you have to go with them, baby girl."
Picture of 6-year-old Kaia Rolle with her grandmother. | Source: Youtube/WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando
REACTIONS FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT
Kaia's sobs were enough to soften the heart of a stone-hearted person. Still, somehow, the officer refused to listen as he bundled her in his vehicle because she had misbehaved by kicking a staff member in her classroom.
That was not all; he contacted Kaia's grandmother, explaining her offense while adding that she would be charged for battery; eventually, she was released to her grandmother.
However, Aramis D. Ayala, the State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, dismissed the case and told the media that her office had no intentions of prosecuting the kid. According to Ayala:
"I refuse to play any role in the school-to-prisonpipeline at any age. 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."
The entire episode was devastating for Meralyn Kirkland, Kaia's grandmother, who could not get over the pain despite having her baby back home. In an interview, she emotionally recounted the incident by saying:
"No 6-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them and they were riding in a police car to be fingerprinted (and have a) mugshot (taken)."
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE ARREST?
Many condemned the behavior, including Orlando's Police Chief, Orlando Rolón, who spoke to the press. He confessed that the arrest was without the approval of a commanding officer and was a punishable offense.
During his address, Rolón mentioned that he found the incident unpleasant and that he wasted no time in suspending the officer, despite Turner being under investigation. The Police Chief, who went ahead to terminate the officer from the force, also apologized to the family, adding that:
"This will not stop. I have the opportunity to exercise that, and when I came in today, I knew there was no choice here. He was going to be terminated. I was sick to my stomach when I heard this…..we were all appalled…I apologize to the children involved and their families."
Other internet users, including parents with kids, condemned Turner's behavior. They maintained that Kaia was only a child and that other corrective measures could have been explored.
At the end of the day, Turner's inability to control his emotions and listen to a pleading child cost him his job and dent his reputation. So, this teaches that it is good to show sympathy to a person, no matter how little; after all, these kids are humans.
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