An Orlando grandmother was surprised to learn that her 6-year-old granddaughter was taken into custody by police for throwing a fit.
According to a local-NBC Affiliate, Meralyn Kirkland was informed by Orlando police officer, Dennis Turner, that her granddaughter, Kaia, was taken to a juvenile detention centre.
Turner is the resource officer at Lucious and Emma Nixon Elementary charter school and he told Kirkland that her granddaughter’s arrest came as the result of an incident at the school.
“What do you mean she was arrested, he said ‘there was an incident and she kicked somebody and she is being charged and she is on her way,'” Kirkland said.
Kirkland says that she believes the situation was sparked by her granddaughter’s struggle with a sleeping disorder. When she tried to explain that to Turner, he did not accept that as an excuse. “She has a medical condition that we are working on getting resolved and 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.”
Turner and the Orlando Police Department subjected Kaia to all the standard procedures of an arrest. Kirkland says the fact her granddaughter had to take a mugshot and be fingerprinted hit her “like a ton of bricks.”
“No 6-year-old child 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 centre to be fingerprinted, mug shot,” Kirkland said. People on social media were quick to point out that the Kirkland family is African American, which makes the arrest even more troubling.
Lt. Wanda Miglio told Buzzfeed, that Turner arrested Kaia on a misdemeanour battery charge but he did not follow the department’s policy of informing a commanding officer before arresting someone under 12-years-old. “There will be an internal investigation regarding these incidents,” Miglio stated.
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