ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando elementary school resource officer was suspended after arresting two children, an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old, and accusing them of misdemeanors in separate incidents.
The officer arrested 6-year-old Kaia Rolle at the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy in Orlando after she reportedly had a temper tantrum at school.
The girl’s grandmother Meralyn Kirkland told CNN affiliate WKMG school officials called her on Thursday, Sept. 19 to say Kaia kicked someone and was being arrested and charged with battery.
Kirkland said Kaia sometimes experiences side effects from sleep apnea, and the family was working on getting the condition resolved. She claimed the first-grader was arrested, fingerprinted, and had mugshots taken — however police said the child was not processed.
The Orlando Police Department oversees the school resource officer who made the arrest, and they said the situation was not handled properly.
According to the department, the arrest of any person under the age of 12 requires the approval of a watch commander, and this approval was was not obtained in Kaia Rolle’s case.
In a statement provided to CNN, the police department said a second transport officer “verified approval was not obtained and the process for the 6-year-old was stopped immediately. The child was returned to the school prior to being processed at the Juvenile Assessment Center.”
The statement also mentioned the school resource officer in question also arrested an 8-year-old in a separate incident.
“The first transport officer was not aware an approval was not obtained, and the 8-year-old was processed through the Juvenile Assessment Center. The child was released to a family member a short time later,” the statement said.
The officer responsible for both arrests was suspended, police said.
“The officer working at the school is assigned to the Reserve Officer Program and his duties have been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation,” police Chief Orlando Rolon said in the statement. “As a grandparent of three children less than 11 years old, this is very concerning to me. Our department strives to deliver professional and courteous service.”
Officials at the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy had no comment on the incident Monday, Sept. 23. Calls to to Rolle’s grandmother, Meralyn, were not immediately answered on Monday morning.