ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando police officer who recently arrested two 6-year-old children was disciplined in 2015 for using his Taser on a man five times while investigating a trespassing incident, according to records released Wednesday.
Officer Dennis Turner worked for the Orlando Police Department for 23 years before he retired in 2018. This year, he was hired as a school resource officer at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy.
He was fired this week as news spread that he arrested a 6-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl Thursday on misdemeanor battery charges in separate incidents. The charges against the children have since been dropped.
Records show that in 2015, an internal affairs investigation was launched into Turner's use of force during an arrest at a Kwik Stop on North Lane in Orlando.
Turner wrote in a field report that David Buster Reynolds was at the convenience store even though he'd be trespassed from the property in the past. Reynolds didn't listen to Turner's requests to put his hands behind his back, according to the report, so Turner deployed his Taser.
Records indicate that Reynolds was hostile because he had been drinking and told Turner that he wanted to be left alone.
Surveillance video shows the prongs of the Taser didn't properly stick the first time, so Turner put in a new cartridge and deployed the Taser again.
OPD officials wrote in the internal affairs report that Turner used the Taser a total of five times, even though Reynolds wasn't actively resisting arrest, which is against department policy.
Turner told investigators that he was worried Reynolds would try to escape. He said he didn't feel comfortable cuffing Reynolds once he was on the ground because another suspect was nearby and he didn't want to turn his back on that man.
Video from the store showed Reynolds hit his head on a counter while falling to the floor after the Taser was deployed. The subsequent uses of force occurred while Reynolds was on the floor.
Records show Turner was found to have violated department policy during the arrest. He received a written censure.
Reynolds pleaded no contest to charges of trespassing and resisting without violence.