Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said Dennis Turner, who had been suspended following the incident at a charter school, did not follow the department’s policy requiring approval from a supervisor for any arrest of a minor younger than 12, reported The Washington Post.
Speaking about it Orlando added that on behalf of himself and the entire Orlando Police Department, he apologises to the children involved and their families.
He went on to add that as a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, he can imagine how traumatic it must have been for everybody involved.
Earlier in the day, State Attorney Aramis Ayala had confirmed that her office would not prosecute the children and is working to clear their records.
Taking to Facebook, the Office of State Attorney, Aramis D. Ayala wrote that the young children are to be "protected, nurtured, and disciplined" in a way that "does not rely on the criminal justice system to do it," adding, that the "criminal process ends here."
Police on their part have declined to identify the two children who were arrested or disclose details about their cases, only revealing that the young boy and girl were both charged with misdemeanor battery in separate events.
While prosecutors have said they intervened before either of the children could be taken to a juvenile detention centre, the arrests themselves have renewed scrutiny on policing in schools.
According to Washington Post, Meralyn Kirkland, in an interaction with WKMG revealed that her granddaughter, Kaia Rolle, was one of the children involved.
Turns out Kaia's arrest came after she had a tantrum in class because her sleep apnea prevented her from getting enough rest the night bfore. This prompted a trip to the office where a school staffer tried to grab her wrist to calm her down, only for her to kick back. Kaia was arrested and charged revealed Kirkland.
The officer who was responsible for transporting Kaia, however, confirmed that the proper approval hadn’t been obtained and she was returned to school before being processed at the juvenile facility, police said.
The incident of the arrest of the two children sparked widespread outrage as some critics demanded that Turner be disciplined or fired, while others urged the Orlando Police Department to review its policy regarding minors.
Here's what they wrote:
@OrlandoPolice officer Dennis Turner arrested a 6yo girl - a six-year-old girl - for having the emotions of a six-year-old. (He didn’t even bother to get the necessary permission, though why anyone needs to arrest a 6yo is beyond me.) Let’s see what Orlando police do. https://t.co/30dLQO2gNT— Matt Hinkley (@hinkleystomp) September 22, 2019
Ok, I’ve read a lot of these comments. Why isn’t anyone asking who in the hell called the police in the first place?? What teacher or staff member felt that this was an appropriate response? I doubt the cop was sitting in the class when it happened. Critical thinking, come on.— Kish (@SousLeRadar) September 22, 2019
Right. My outrage is having a school where a simple temper tantrum warrants a 911 call? Do I trust these people to educate my kids? Hell no. They had no social worker, no principal that would stand up and say, this is wrong?— Kish (@SousLeRadar) September 22, 2019
It’s been my experience that most SRO’s are complete psychos. My son had a run in with one last year (A California middle school) SRO fell asleep in our meeting and then proceeded to make threats when he finally woke up. They love the power over the less powerful.— Jillian Anderson🏳️🌈 击☂️ (@247Lush) September 22, 2019
How could a teacher, principle, police or anyone think this was ok?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) September 22, 2019