ORLANDO, Fla. – A day after a school resource officer arrested two 6-year-old children, he returned to work even though an internal affairs investigation had been launched.
Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon said Wednesday that it's now clear department protocols were not followed. Officer Dennis Turner should have been removed from Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy the same day as the arrests, according to the chief.
"The administrative process to ensure that Reserve Office Turner's extra-duty privileges had been terminated had not been followed. The original statements I made were based on the belief that my instructions had been received and followed," Rolon wrote in a statement to the media.
An internal affairs investigation was launched on Sept. 19, the same day 6-year-old Kaia Rolle and a 6-year-old boy were arrested at the Orlando charter school on misdemeanor battery charges in unrelated incidents.
"The officer's off-duty privileges at the school should have been removed on that day, but it did not occur until the following day, Friday, September 20, 2019," Rolon wrote.
Turner reported to work the day after the arrest. By noon, he was pulled from the campus, officials said.
Rolon said Turner did not follow department policy that requires approval for an officer to arrest anyone younger than 12. He has since been fired and the charges against the children have been dropped.
Records show Kaia had a tantrum in class that day because her teacher would not let her wear her sunglasses. During the fit, the child kicked and punched a school employee, according to documents.
Kaia's grandmother said the child's outburst was a side effect of a sleep disorder.
Turner wrote in an arrest report that school administrators wanted Kaia to be arrested but employees said that wasn't the case. A written incident statement from a school support staffer who was named in the arrest report did not indicate that she wanted to prosecute.
Bodycam video that could clear up the matter can not be released due to privacy concerns, Orlando police officials said.
Details on the circumstances of the 6-year-old boy's arrest have not been released.