Police in Schools

Video: Orlando Cops Arrest Crying 6-Year-Old Girl

One of the officers was fired after arresting two 6-year-olds in one day.

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Body camera footage released today shows the arrest of a Florida 6-year-old last year that sparked national outrage and led to the firing of the police officer involved.

The family of Kaia Rolle shared body camera footage with media outlets showing former Orlando police officer Dennis Turner and another officer putting zip-ties around the small child's wrists and leading her outside to a police car as she cries and begs to be let go.

"What are those for?" Rolle, a first-grader at an Orlando-area charter school, asks as the officer bring out the zip-ties.

"They're for you," Turner responds.

 

Rolle's alleged crime was throwing a tantrum and striking three school employees. She was charged with misdemeanor battery, although the charges were quickly dropped. Rolle's grandmother said the girl suffered from a sleep disorder that led to her tantrums.

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

After Kaia was placed in a police SUV to be taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center, Turner returned to the school's office and spoke to administrators, who were concerned about Kaia. He downplayed the juvenile detention center, saying it's "not like you think."

He told them he had arrested 6,000 people in his career—the youngest, to that point, was 7. When school employees told him Kaia was 6, not 8 like he thought, he did not seem concerned.

"Now she has broken the record," he said.

In fact, Turner arrested another 6-year-old in an unrelated incident that same day.

The national condemnation that poured in after the story went viral led to the officer's firing. Arrests of small children are unusual but not unheard of, however. Stories like this pop up every few years. In 2006, it was a St. Petersburg, Florida, 5-year-old who was handcuffed and arrested in school. 

According to data from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Florida police arrested 2,781 children between the ages of five and 12 in fiscal year 2018-2019. The youngest was a 5-year-old Hispanic boy, who was charged by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office with felony aggravated assault. Florida law enforcement arrested five 6-year-olds and 10 7-year-olds that year on charges ranging from larceny to disorderly conduct to obstruction of justice.

ABC News reported that, according to FBI crime data, 30,467 children under the age of 10 were arrested in the United States between 2013 and 2018. During the same period, 266,000 children between the ages of 10 and 12 were arrested.

The good news is that—mirroring the national decline in crime—the rate of juvenile arrests in the U.S. has dropped significantly since its peak in 1996, from roughly 8,500 arrests per 100,000 individuals between the ages of 10 and 17 to 2,400 in 2016.

In most places, there is no minimum age for when a child can be arrested and charged with a crime. Thirty four states have no lower age limit for delinquency, while 11 states place the floor at 10 years old.

Meanwhile, zero tolerance policies are leading to absurd cases like a Pennsylvania school that called the cops on a 6-year-old girl with Down syndrome who made a finger gun gesture at her teacher and said, "I shoot you." 

As I wrote in a recent column for Reason on child arrests, "The criminal justice system has become America's default solution for all of its social problems, and that mentality has oozed into the classroom."

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  1. One of the officers was fired after arresting two six-year-olds in one day.

    Didn’t meet the quota?

    1. Those are rookie numbers in this racket.

      1. You aren’t really policing until a person of interest winds up with bullets in them after an officer’s gun goes off.

    2. It is WAY beyond time to get rid of cops. They do little to NOTHING to prevent or solve crimes. They are basically bully boys for politicians. There would actually be LESS crime and disorder if all cops were fired, or, better yet, thrown in prison.

  2. The national condemnation that poured in after the story went viral led to the officer’s firing.

    While I believe the firings over this shouldn’t have been limited to his, it oddly concerns me that it came washed in mob outrage.

    1. What concerns me is the idea that it was the “national outrage” over what he did that got him fired and not what he did. It suggests that had there been no national outrage he wouldn’t have been fired. Did he actually do something wrong? So egregiously contrary to departmental policies and procedures that they had no choice to fire him as an irredeemable malfeasor? Why was this guy even on the force if his training and his personal judgement was so obviously flawed that he couldn’t be counted on to make reasonable decisions?

      Or – more likely, given that apparently he had done similar things before without anybody raising an eyebrow – is it that he was doing exactly what he had been led to believe was the correct thing to do in the situation? And why the hell isn’t everybody else up and down the chain responsible for this kind of outrageous policy being considered normal having the shit slapped out of them right now?

      1. “What concerns me is the idea that it was the “national outrage” over what he did that got him fired and not what he did”

        This.
        They didn’t give a crap about what he did, which sickens me. But were perfectly willing to pander to the mob, which also sickens me.
        Not a shred of decency in them.

  3. Body camera footage released today shows the arrest of a Florida six-year-old last year that sparked national outrage and led to the firing of the police officer involved

    Reinstated with back pay after arbitration in 3… 2…

  4. Just reaching the inevitable logical outcome. Why should 8, 7, 6, 5, hell, in utero for that matter, be treated any differently from anyone else? Are you asking police and school administrators to differentiate on the basis of what some hypothetical “reasonable person” should do? That just leads to all sorts of problems, not the least of which is age based preferences.

    1. We execute kids in utero and its considered enlightened policy.

      1. They’re just evicting an unwanted tenant. Totally libertarian in principle.

        1. True, but not the point here.

          1. Here being in response to the above comment, it is the point here.

            Also, it’s ridiculous to claim killing innocents justified by unfit allegory is in line with libertarian principles.

      2. Great point, Diane! Cops are useless for the most part, driving around annoying decent citizens, and committing their own crimes. I was pulled over for, wait for it, driving in the center lane of a freeway, which, as is obvious to al but dumbass cops, TOTALLY LEGAL!!!! FUCK ALL COPS EVERYWHERE.

        1. For once: Yay cop! In Colorado it’s keep right, pass left, and it’s a f-ing law. If you keep driving your California-plated, NPR-stickered Pius (spelling intentional) in the left lane while doing 5 miles under the speed limit, I’m gonna run over you with my monster truck.

          1. I believe he said “center” lane, not “left” lane. Driving in the left lane and impeding traffic is heinous, I admit; driving in the center lane, though?

      3. We execute kids in utero and its considered enlightened policy.

        Humans have and will always perform whatever mental gymnastics they can in order to justify their own narcissistic behavior.

  5. Orlando Cops Arrest Crying Six-Year-Old Girl

    Over spilt milk?

  6. How retarded do you have to be to not understand that this is exactly how you can expect it to play out when you depend on cops to enforce zero tolerance policies in schools?

    1. No word on which school official(s) called the police and stood by watching in approval as this arrest took place.

      1. “Procedures” called the police.

        1. Procedures apparently booked the little girl into the detention center when the cop showed up with her as well. It’s not the Costanza Defense when you work at the Department of Costanza with a bunch of Costanzas. Nobody here seemed to think there was anything wrong with what was going on.

      2. Maybe if the school could paddle her out of control behind, it wouldn’t come to this

    2. best comment yet. Schools can’t discipline kids. What are they supposed to do when someone goes on a hitting rampage? Sorry, little girl, but this should have been a lesson on how NOT to act in polite society. It turns out to be the same lesson they’ve been learning every day … that whatever happens, it’s always somebody else’s fault.

  7. If they are old enough to decide if they are boys or girls and make the taxpayers ‘correct’ any discrepancy, they are old enough to get arrested.

    1. I guess you long to be free and define that as authorities arresting those who are not you

    2. Your comment is senseless as you are.

  8. Rolle’s alleged crime was throwing a tantrum and striking three school employees.

    “We have to have a time out now, Sweetie.”

  9. Piece of shit pig shouldn’t have been fired. He should have been publically caned to death in that schoolyard.

  10. He didn’t even have the proper vehicle seating for a child that size.

  11. I’d really, really love to know how many school children are arrested in private schools. My guess: not many!

    1. Private school staff are generally smart enough to know not to call the cops in such circumstances.

  12. This is all well and good, but what does the union say?

    1. Oink oink oink?

  13. This child assaulted THREE teachers. The question that should be asked is why did the parents miserably fail at their job?

    1. Dear Dickport : Your comment is excrement. It has NOTHING to do with the topic at hand, and, like you, it is dumb if not dung.

    2. Oh, heaven forbid you blame the parents. Or parent. Or whatever. It’s SOCIETY that failed. Or the teachers. Or the system.

  14. Six years old, and she’s charged with misdemeanor battery, battery meaning when you beat on someone, like punch their lights out. I can sure envision that six year old taking out the teacher with a right uppercut and decking the school principal with a roundhouse blow to the head. Did they call the cops and warn them that she was armed and dangerous. Maybe they should have sent in hte SWAT team.

    This is absolutely pathetic. At the end of hte day, the cops arrested the wrong people.

    1. And at six years of age, she will undoubtedly be found unfit to stand trial. So involuntary commitment to a state psychiatric facility will be required. With full restraints and all necessary medications. As she now has a documented history of violent outbursts.

    2. “meaning when you beat on someone, like punch their lights out.”

      No. That sort of thing – where actual harm occurs – will generally get you an aggravated assault charge, or worse depending on the severity of the injury. Misdemeanor battery can literally be any unwanted touching if the victim is willing to push the issue and a prosecutor is willing to play along.

  15. When parents ( or grandparents) or the school has no grand plan for teaching behavior the cops are called and get blamed for …. outrage! People suck!

  16. The girl needs to be recruited for UFC, pronto!

  17. Huge disappointment. I was hoping for tasing and some repeated “Stop resisting!”

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  20. Not that I don’t think the cop and the school officials should be fired, because they should be. But the only reason anyone is outraged is because she’s black.

  21. The progression that leads to police in schools is dead simple. For a wide variety of reasons, parents have stopped trusting public school teachers to discipline students. If a teacher yells at a student or, God forbid, lays a hand on one all hell breaks loose. So you have schools looking to outside authorities to deal with problems.

    Clap hands, here comes Officer UN-Friendly!

    This doesn’t happen in Private schools because private schools can actually expel a student.

    1. If I went to a store with so much crime that they had police patrolling the aisles, I’d stop going to the store. But I’ll send my children to public school.

      1. Virtue signal much?

  22. Do NONE of you have or work with kids?

    One, a little kid can hurt you. I know several of you are inflating your scrotums right now, ready to insist on how much of a pussy someone has to be to get hurt by a kid, but that’s because those scrotums are empty.

    Even a toddler’s swinging head can hit you hard enough that you’ll need stitches.

    When it’s your kid that’s doing this you have some recourse. You can manhandle them and hold them still or spank them. You can pick them up and put them in their room or in time out or some other punishment.

    But when you’re a teacher or a school worker, you learn very quickly that the days of ‘in loco parentis’ are over. You CAN’T stop them from tantrumming in any of the usual ways. So they keep going–because, most of the time you also CAN’T do what they’re demanding. So they’re hitting and screaming and crying.

    So what CAN you do?

    You can call the ‘resource officer’ and let him handle what you’ve been forbidden to handle.

    And then you can join in with the mob of armchair quarterbacks who will shit all over him because he didn’t fix it the way they approve of.

    Before you judge ask yourself what you would do to stop a child that isn’t yours, that you’re not allowed to touch, who’s hurting other people–be they child or adult. Would you call for someone who COULD touch them?

    1. Even a toddler’s swinging head can hit you hard enough that you’ll need stitches.

      When it’s your kid that’s doing this you have some recourse. You can manhandle them and hold them still or spank them. You can pick them up and put them in their room or in time out or some other punishment.

      Before you judge ask yourself what you would do to stop a child that isn’t yours, that you’re not allowed to touch, who’s hurting other people–be they child or adult. Would you call for someone who COULD touch them?

      You should’ve skipped past the first couple sentences to this. No toddler, open handed, could inflict a wound requiring stitches on me. If a toddler can swing their head hard and fast enough to hit you somewhere that you’d require stitches, unless you’ve stumbled and pulled yourself on your elbows back against a wall horror-movie fashion, the stitches are on you.

      That said, the other point (which is sorta the inverse of the situation) is absolutely true. I’ve broken a lot of bones in my life. None of them were mine. I wrestled and I’ve handled a lot of live animals and am pretty good about knowing how to physically control things without hurting them. That says very little about children who can be intent on hurting themselves or getting themselves hurt. I interact with my own kids enough physically to know pretty well what will hurt them and what will injure them. I don’t generally take the same risk with others’ kids, including nieces and nephews.

  23. Actually reading the story…

    This isn’t he police’s fault (I know, I’m banned from Reason now…). This is the government school system’s fault. You had a kid who was kicking and punching staff and refusing to stop, and the schools don’t allow themselves to deal with such things on their own anymore. “Call the cops” is their only policy. And what are the cops supposed to do if she doesn’t listen when they tell her to stop?

    Blame the parents. Blame the schools. But this one’s not on the police; they just got the parents’ and schools’ failure dumped in their laps.

  24. Not buying the excuses on behalf of the cop.

    There’s something broken in a society that does this. I don’t care if it’s the dumbass school or cops.

    1. Or the retarded, lazy parents.

      1. Six year-olds throw tantrums. It happens when they are frustrated, tired, hungry etc. And yes, they hit and kick and sometimes bite when out of control. But you shouldn’t expect adult behavior from a child and shouldn’t punish a child as though they were an adult.

  25. With my kids in the same classroom, managing to behave themselves, they don’t need this BS tantrum-throwing brat disrupting the hell out of their school day. Remove by any means necessary.

    1. I agree, and I’m surprised no one has brought up this point before. If you’re paying taxes and trying to raise kids and sending them to school, it would be infuriating to know how much time is wasted dealing with kids who are either ill bred or have behavior problems, or both, and sometimes its hard to tell the difference, but kids like that should not be allowed to disrupt the education of the rest of the class.

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