There was an "incident," Kirkland recalled the caller saying – Kaya "kicked someone and she was charged."
The Orlando Police Department says it is now investigating actions taken by Dennis Turner, a school resource officer who arrested Kaya and an 8-year-old female student in separate events on the same day last week. Turner is accused of not following the department's policy on arresting minors and has been suspended from his duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said in a statement to The Washington Post. According to the policy, any arrest of minors under the age of 1
2 needs approval from a supervisor, which police say Turner did not receive.
"As a grandparent of three children under the age of 11, that's a lot for me," Rolon said. "Our department strives to provide professional and friendly service. My staff and I are committed to exceeding these standards and expectations. ”
Turner did not respond to a request for comment late Sunday.
Authorities have refused to identify the two children who were arrested or to reveal details about their cases. noting that they were both students at a local charter school and were accused of wrongdoing. Their arrests have renewed careful scrutiny of police at schools, according to advocates and investigators who say they often unfairly target colored students and people with disabilities, landing young people in handcuffs for routine violations.
Police in schools: guard the children or arrest them. without good reason?
Kirkland told WKMG that Kaya was attending Lucious & Emma Nixon Academy, a charter school in Orange County Public Schools. School and district staff could not be reached for comment late Sunday.
Kaya's arrest came after the girl had an intrigue in class, as sleep apnea prevented her from getting enough rest the night before, Kirkland said. The episode led to a trip to an office where a school employee tried to grab Kaya's wrists to comfort her – prompting her to turn back, she said.
"She has a medical condition that we are working to resolve." Kirkland said she told Turner. "So he says, 'What medical condition? "I said, 'She has a sleep disorder, sleep apnea. "He says, 'Well, I have sleep apnea and I don't act like that.'
Kirkland was arrested and charged with battery.
But the officer responsible for Kaya's transportation confirmed that the correct approval had not been obtained and she was returned to school before
the 8-year-old, who was also arrested on Thursday, was processed and released to a family member shortly after. It is unclear what led to the arrest of the child.
Turner spent 23 years as a police officer in Orlando before retiring in June 2018, according to . In 2016, Turner was issued an affidavit of excessive force after tacerating a man fifty times, kicking the suspect twice when he was already on the floor and no longer resisting, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Police said he is currently assigned to the Reserve Officer Program, which consists of retired officers.
The arrests of both children provoked widespread outrage as some critics demanded Turner be disciplined or fired, while others urged the Orlando police department to change policies of minors.
@ OrlandoPolice Officer Dennis Turner arrests a 6-year-old girl – a six-year-old girl – for testing the emotions of a six-year-old child. (He didn't even bother getting the necessary permission, though why anyone has to arrest 6yo is beyond me.) Let's see what the Orlando police do. https://t.co/30dLQO2gNT photos19459003: 11 – Matt Hinkley (@hinkleystomp) September 22, 2019
School resource officers have become nationwide adaptations in the post-Columbian era, charged with protecting students from mass shootings, gangs and drugs, among other threats. In the 2017-2018 school year, nearly 45 percent of all public schools had either a full-time or part-time employee, according to a federal report published by the National Center for Education Statistics in July.
In recent years, however, criminal justice advocates have raised concerns that school officials often criminalize the normal behavior of students, traditionally performed by teachers or school administrators.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice found that schools with the resource
"For most young people, especially those from lower socio-economic neighborhoods, education is an invaluable resource for providing a brighter future. "the study said. "Denying them education for minor classroom disruptions or hallway disruptions is unacceptable, unfair and can permanently limit their prospects for a better life."
Critics also cited data showing that students from marginalized communities are disproportionately punished. .
Black students represent 15 percent of the total number of students in the 2015-2016 school year, according to a recent report from the Department of Education's Civil Rights Office. But they make up 31 percent of students who referred to law enforcement or were arrested in school-related arrests, the report said. Similarly, students with disabilities make up 12 percent of the total enrollment and 28 percent of those targeted or arrested.
On Friday, Kirkland struggled to hold back her tears while describing Kaya's test at WKMG. Sitting nearby on the couch, the 6-year-old was comforting her grandmother.
"Don't cry," says the girl, dressed in a light blue polo shirt and dark skirt. A matching blue bow adorned the top of her head.