'It's still shocking': Officer fired after school arrests of 6-year-olds, police chief says

ORLANDO, Fla. — A school resource officer has been relieved of his duties following an investigation into the arrests of two 6-year-olds at an Orlando charter school

School Resource Officer Dennis Turner was initially suspended before being terminated, according to Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón.

"To be honest with you, I was sick to my stomach," Rolón told Channel 9's Shannon Butler when asked what his initial thoughts were when hearing about the ages of the children arrested. "We could not fathom the idea of a 6-year-old being put in the back of a police car. To be honest, it's still shocking to us."

A grandmother of one of the 6-year-olds told Channel 9 her granddaughter was arrested after she had a temper tantrum, during which she reportedly kicked a staff member.

Orlando police said it stopped the Juvenile Assessment Center from fully processing the 6-year-old once it found out the school resource officer did not get his supervisor's approval before arresting her.

Orlando Police Department policy states a supervisor must approve the arrest of anyone younger than 12 years old.

State Attorney Aramis Ayala said during a news conference Monday that the 6-year-old girl will not be charged for battery.

"I just want to know what that officer was thinking," said Carla Sapp, the mother of the other 6-year-old arrested.

This isn't the first time Turner has found himself mired in controversy. Court records show Turner was arrested in 1998 after he was accused of severely beating his son with a strip of rubber. The case was ultimately dropped.

Turner retired in 2018 after serving for 23 years with the Orlando Police Department before he returned as a reserve officer.

"On behalf of myself and the entire Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families," Rolón said.

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