Florida Officer Who Arrested 2 6-Year-Old Students Is Fired: Police

The officer has been fired.
Orlando Police Dept.

A Florida officer who arrested two 6-year-old children at school has been fired. 

Officer Dennis Turner, a school resource officer, arrested both children on misdemeanor charges, but all of the charges have since been dropped. The Orlando Police Department is still investigating each of the incidents, which happened separately.

Police said both children were age 6 after previously identifying one of them as 8 years old. The department's policy is not to arrest any children under the age of 12 without permission from a watch commander. 

“It was clear today that basically there was no other remedy but to terminate this officer,” Police Chief Orlando Rolon said at a press conference Monday night. “I was sick to my stomach when I heard this…. We were all appalled. We could not fathom the idea of a 6-year-old being put in the back of a police car.”

One of the children was booked at the Juvenile Assessment Center and then released to a family member. The other, the granddaughter of Meralyn Kirkland, was returned to school from the juvenile center without being processed.

Kirkland said the school called her Thursday and informed her that her granddaughter, whom InsideEdition.com has chosen not to identify, had been arrested on a battery charge after throwing a tantrum at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, where she is a first-grade student, according to WFLA.

Kirkland said the situation unfolded when her granddaughter began acting out in class due to lack of sleep caused by her sleep apnea, WKMG reported. The girl was taken to the office, where a staff member grabbed her wrists to try to get her to calm down and the girl kicked the staff member, Kirkland said.

Kirkland told the outlet her granddaughter was then handcuffed and fingerprinted, and had to have her mugshot taken.

"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 center to be fingerprinted, mug shot," Kirkland said.

Details about what happened with the other 6-year-old were not released by authorities.

Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy, a charter school, told InsideEdition.com that “at this point, we have no comment.”

The case is still under investigation.

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