ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando police officer has been suspended after arresting two 6-year-old children last week.
In one case, the child’s grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, told WKMG that her daughter had been acting out in class. Kirkland said the girl suffers from a medical condition that sometimes leads to a lack of sleep.
The 6-year-old kicked a staff member who tried to calm her down, Kirkland said. The little girl was charged with battery.
“How do you do that to a 6-year-old child and because she kicked somebody?” Kirkland told WKMG. “A literal mug shot of a 6-year-old girl.”
Another 6-year-old was arrested in an unrelated case, according to WKMG.
“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, mugshot,” Kirkland said.
According to the Orlando Police Department, officers are supposed to get approval from a watch commander before arresting someone under the age of 12. The school resource officer, identified as Dennis Turner, failed to follow that policy, the department said.
While one child was processed, including fingerprinting and a mugshot, police said processing for the second child was stopped when the transporting officer realized approval hadn’t been given for the arrest.
The police department has launched an internal investigation into the matter.