School employee did not ask to press charges against 6-year-old girl, statement shows

Report details extent of child's tantrum

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - A school employee did not write that she wanted to press charges against a 6-year-old girl who was arrested by an Orlando school resource officer, according to her written statement obtained by News 6 Tuesday.

Attorney Darryl Smith with Smith and Eulo law firm is representing Kaia Rolle and said, "We need to get the family closure and to find out exactly what went wrong and what happened to Kaia that day," Smith said.

The Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy employee's statement contradicts what the school resource officer wrote in his arrest report for the girl.

Officer Dennis Turner was pulled from duty and later fired after arresting a 6-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy in unrelated incidents at the charter school on Sept. 19.

Orlando Police Department policy requires an officer to obtain approval before arresting anyone younger than age 12, which Officer Dennis Turner did not do, according to Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.

The charges against the children were later dropped and the department announced new rules to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

[READ: Charges dropped against 6-year-old children arrested at Orlando school'A literal mug shot of a 6-year-old girl:' Grandmother outraged over child's arrest]

On Tuesday, News 6 obtained written statements from Beverly Stoute, a support staffer at the Orlando charter school, that describes the circumstances that led to 6-year-old Kaia Rolle's arrest on a misdemeanor battery charge, which has since been dropped.

In the original arrest affidavit for Kaia, Turner wrote Stoute "verbally stated she wanted to press charged and would testify in court." Stoute has denied that account.

In the written statement, Stoute did not initial the box that reads "I will testify in court and prosecute criminally." She also did not write anywhere in her statement that she wished to press charges.

"We care about the well-being of our students. The officer's statements are inaccurate," a statement from the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy employees said. "We did not ask for either student to be arrested neither did we want to pursue criminal charges."

According to Stoute's statement, Kaia was upset that she was not allowed to wear her sunglasses in class, even though she said her grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, told her she could. Employees said Kaia threw herself to the floor and began yelling, so they removed her from the classroom and took her to the office.

[RELATED: School, fired officer at odds over who wanted 6-year-old girl arrestedVideo shows officer who arrested children repeatedly tasing man]

Stoute wrote in her report that Kaia became "louder and more aggressive" when she tried to get the child to calm down.

Once in the office, the reports state that Kaia tried to pull things from the wall, screamed, pulled an employee's hair, and began hitting and kicking Stoute in the chest and stomach. School personnel wrote that they grabbed Kaia's wrists and attempted to restrain her.

Records show that Turner was brought in to try to de-escalate the situation. He told her if she calmed down and sat still, he would get her sunglasses for her, but that didn't work, according to the documents.

It took about 10 minutes for Kaia to calm down, the report said.

Kirkland said Kaia's tantrum was a side effect of a sleep disorder.

"How do you do that to a 6-year-old child and because she kicked somebody?" Kirkland asked.

Smith said body camera video that could clear up the discrepancy was recorded, but Orlando police officials said privacy concerns prevent them from releasing it.

"Video doesnt lie, if we were able to get the body camera we would be able to see what everyone said at the scene, what interaction the officer had," Smith said.

The circumstances of the 6-year-old boy's arrest are unknown.

News 6 also confirmed with Orlando Police Department officials that Officer Dennis Turner wasn't pulled from duty until a day after the children were arrested.

When news first broke that Turner had arrested two 6 year old students, Orlando police officials said "immediately corrective actions were taken" when supervisors became aware of the incidents. 

On Tuesday, an OPD spokesperson released an updated statement.

"After the discovery of the arrest of the 6-year-olds on Thursday afternoon, (Sept. 19), an Internal investigation was initiated. On Friday morning, the chief met with staff the department decided to immediately pull Reserve Officer Turner from the school," the statement read.

It's unclear if Turner had already reported for work by the time that decision was made.

"You have to believe that everyone wants to do the right thing but everyone has their own interest. The Orlando Police department is doing their own internal investigation and Im sure the school is doing their own investigation. We have our own priorities which is closure for the family and justice for Kaia," Smith said.
 

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