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Bodycam footage shows heartbreaking arrest of sobbing 6-year-old girl at Florida school: ‘Please let me go!’



Image source: Newsweek video screenshot

Newly released body camera footage shows the moment a school resource officer arrests a sobbing 6-year-old girl in Orlando, Florida.

The arrest took place in September, but footage of the incident was released this week, Newsweek reported.

The Orlando Police Department fired former Officer Dennis Turner following the arrest of 6-year-old Kaia Rolle. Authorities dropped all pending charges against the child, and her record was ultimately expunged.

What's a brief history of the incident?

Turner arrested the child at the school after staff said she had a temper tantrum in the classroom.

According to the child's grandmother, Kaia was acting out in class due to a medical condition, so the teacher sent her to the office for discipline.

When Kaia arrived at the principal's office, assistant principal Beverly Stoute reportedly grabbed the child's wrists in order to calm Kaia down. Kaia reportedly kicked at Stoute when Stoute attempted to restrain the child. Stoute called the school's resource officer over the incident and reportedly said that she wanted to press charges against the child.

A short time later, Turner and an Orlando Police Department transport officer arrived at the office to take Kaia into custody. Turner then restrained Kaia with zip ties and took her for processing.

Authorities previously denied a public records request, but the family's attorney was able to obtain the video and release it for the public to see.

School officials said in a later statement that Stoute did not have plans to press charges against the child.

What's in the video?

In the video, staff can be seen questioning the necessity of the arrest.

Turner can be heard telling the child, who was quietly reading a book upon his arrival, to "stand up."

"What are those for?" Kaia can be heard asking Turner about the zip ties. She begins to cry, shake, and plead with the officers for another chance as they guide her to the waiting patrol car.

"Please, give me a second chance," she weeps. "Please, let me go. ... I don't want to go to the police car."

After securing the sobbing child in the vehicle, Turner walks back into the school to tell waiting staff that the child will be processed and picked up from the station in a few hours.

"The restraints, are they necessary?" a staff member can be heard asking.

Turner, who says that Kaia "[broke] the record" for the youngest person he's arrested, responds, "If she were bigger she'd be wearing regular handcuffs."

Anything else?

According to WKMG-TV, Turner lost his job for violating department policy, which stipulates that officers must gain deputy chief approval in order to arrest a child under the age of 12.

Newsweek reported Turner arrested a second 6-year-old child that same day, but that officials blocked the child's processing before he was taken to the juvenile detention center.

"On behalf of the Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families," Police Chief Orlando Rolon said in a statement on Turner's termination. "As a grandfather, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved."

Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala also voiced support for the children.

"I want this community to know that I hear you. I also want you to know that when it comes to little elementary-aged children, we will not negotiate justice, ever. Today, the healing can start," Ayala said.

Turner himself later issued a statement on the matter discussing his history in law enforcement.

“I was a police officer for 23 years, and I was in the military before that," he said. "All I've ever done is to serve my country and my community. That's all I have to say about this."

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