A police officer in Florida has been suspended after arresting an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old girl who had reportedly kicked someone in her first grade class.
Dennis Turner was a school resource officer at an elementary school in Florida.
On Thursday he arrested the two young children on "unrelated misdemeanor charges," according to Orlando's WKMG-TV.
According to the policy of the Orlando Police Department, if a minor under 12 has to be arrested the officer at the scene needs to have permission from their watch commander. Turner did not get this permission.
The youngest of Turner's prisoners, the 6-year-old girl, was brought to a juvenile assessment center, but then returned to her school without being processed. Police have not said what crimes either of the children were charged with committing, but the girl's grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, said that she was told that her granddaughter was arrested because "there was an incident and she kicked somebody" while throwing a tantrum in her first grade class.
"I asked them for her, and they told me she was currently in process of being fingerprinted. And I think when they said fingerprinted is when it hit home to me. And I'm, like, fingerprinted? And they said yes, and they escorted me into an office and on the desk in that officer were two mugshot pictures of my 6-year-old granddaughter," Kirkland told WFTV-TV. She also questioned whether it was true that her daughter was not processed (as police reported), saying that she had received a court summons for the young girl for a battery charge.
The 8-year-old, whose gender was not reported, was booked at the assessment center, and had to remain there until a family member came to claim them. But police say that this would not have happened if other authorities had known that Turner did not clear these arrests.
"The first transport officer was not aware an approval was not obtained, and the 8-year-old was processed through the Juvenile Assessment Center. The child was released to a family member a short time later," Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon told WKMG.
Turner is now the subject of an internal investigation by the department.