Officer fired after girl, 6, arrested at school after temper tantrum, grandmother says

ORLANDO, Fla. — A school resource officer has been fired while Orlando police investigate why he arrested two children younger than 10.

The officer, who was initially suspended, was later terminated, according to Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.

Channel 9 spoke to Meralyn Kirkland, who said her 6-year-old granddaughter was arrested after she had a temper tantrum.

Kirkland said her granddaughter was arrested because she reportedly kicked a staff member during a temper tantrum.

Kirkland said the school knows her granddaughter can be prone to temper tantrums because she suffers from sleep apnea.

Kirkland said she rushed to the Juvenile Assessment Center when she found out her granddaughter had been arrested for battery.

"I asked them for her, and they told me she was currently in process of being fingerprinted. And I think when they said fingerprinted is when it hit home to me. And I'm, like, fingerprinted? And they said yes, and they escorted me into an office and on the desk in that officer were two mugshot pictures of my 6-year-old granddaughter," Kirkland said over the phone.

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.

Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon said school resource officer Dennis Turner has been suspended while the investigation into the incident continues.

Kirkland wants to make sure her granddaughter was not fully processed because she has paperwork that said her granddaughter has a court appearance for the battery charge next month.

It is unclear what happened in the case of the other 6-year-old student who was also arrested at the school on the same day.

Rolon said he will hold a news conference at 5:30 p.m. Monday to answer questions about the incident. Click here to watch it live once it begins.

Check back and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story.

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