School resource officer under investigation for arresting two children, ages 6 and 8

A resource officer at an elementary school in Florida is under investigation after he arrested two students, both under the age of 10, in separate incidents.

Orlando Police Officer Dennis Turner has been suspended and is facing an internal investigation for allegedly arresting the two children in two separate episodes at school last Thursday, according to The New York Times.


Police Chief Orlando Rolón told the news outlet that Turner was working at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy charter school and failed to follow department policy that specifies an officer must get a supervisor's approval when arrest anyone under the age of 12.

“The Orlando Police Department has a policy that addresses the arrest of a minor and our initial finding shows the policy was not followed,” Rolón said in a statement. “As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old this is very concerning to me.”

Local NBC affiliate WFLA reports the 6-year-old was charged with battery after she kicked someone at the school. Meralyn Kirkland, the student’s grandmother, told the news outlet that the girl’s behavioral problems are due to her having sleep apnea.

The 6-year-old girl was reportedly taken to a juvenile detention center to be processed. The arrest was stopped after a supervisor heard of the incident, Rolón said.

"No 6-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them and they were riding in the back of a police car and taken to a juvenile center to be fingerprinted, mug shot," Kirkland added.

The 8-year-old was arrested in a separate incident and was processed at the detention center and then released to a relative.