A police officer in Florida arrested a 6-year-old girl for having a tantrum at school.
According to HuffPost, Dennis Turner, a cop with the Orlando Police Department who was charged with aggravated child abuse for injuring his own son in 1998, was for some reason allowed to work at an elementary charter school in Orlando as a school resource officer. When he saw a six-year-old child throwing a tantrum, which included kicking an adult at the school, the officer handcuffed the child, put her in the back of a police car, fingerprinted her, and took a mug shot of her.
And he didn't stop there. He also arrested an 8-year-old boy, for reasons that are unclear.
Turner was working as a school resource officer at the charter school, which serves grades K-5, when he arrested the two students without first obtaining a supervisor’s approval, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said in a statement...
Turner, a veteran of the Orlando Police Department, was charged with aggravated child abuse in 1998 after officials found welts and bruises on his 7-year-old son, The Orlando Sentinel reported. He was suspended at the time pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Turner has a history of performance issues, including a 1996 citation for “substandard performance” after he lost a suspect’s wallet and an excessive force complaint for stunning a man five times with a Taser in 2016, according to the Sentinel.
The arrests prompted outrage among parents and community activists, with many calling for Turner to lose his job. Others say firing him isn’t enough and that the laws must be changed so other young children won’t face similar situations in the future.
“Outraged that a cop arrested a 6 year old?” tweeted Scott Hechinger, director of policy at Brooklyn Defender Services. “Know this: *Florida Law allows it.* Only thing the officer did wrong was apparently not get ‘explicit permission’ from his ‘watch commander.’ NO 6 YEAR OLD SHOULD EVER BE APPROACHED BY POLICE LET ALONE ARRESTED. CHANGE THIS LAW.”
Turner has been suspended (like he was after his child abuse charges–-much good that did) while the police department does its internal investigation.
Image by Global Panorama/Flickr