Little six-year-old Kaia Rolle did not understand what the plastic clamps that one of the two police officers had presented at her school were. “They are for you,” he replied, and the girl burst into tears.
The scene, videotaped by a police camera, corresponds to the unprecedented arrest of the child last September at a preschool and children’s education center in Orlando (Florida). The girl’s family, who had denounced that the girl had been arrested and handcuffed, released the videos last week to support a proposal for a new state law that would prevent the arrest of children, presented by two Democratic senators last January.
According to CNN, who quotes the written statements of the principal, the assistant principal and two school workers, the images were taken at 8.10 a morning one September morning, after grabbing a tantrum the little girl because she wanted to wear her sunglasses on class. The assistant principal led her to a school office. “Kaia became aggressive and hit me with her hands on the chest and belly. I held her by grabbing her by the forearms,” said the head of the school.
In the video, the girl appears sitting in an office of her school, calm, while a center worker reads a homework from a book. At that time, one of the two agents who just entered the room, says: “Okay. You will have to come with us.” The woman tells Kaia that she has to go with them. “Get up and come here,” the agent urges. “What’s that for?” Asks the girl, referring to the clamps that the police use as wives. “They are for you,” replies the policeman. And at that moment the child breaks into tears. “No, I don’t want him to wear the handcuffs. Don’t put them on,” he pleads, while asking for help.
“Let’s go,” insists the agent. “I want to stay at school. I just arrived,” replies the little girl who asks to be left at school while the police and the agent carrying the camera accompany her to the exit of the building. At the time, the agent carrying the camera tells the little girl to tell her, while they are in the police car, what happened. “I don’t want to get into a police car,” the younger one says between sobs. “You don’t want to? Well, you have to get on,” the camera policeman says. “Please, no, give me another chance,” the minor pleads. One of the policemen puts her in the car while the little girl cries and asks, please, to let her go.
The officer who arrested the child, Dennis Turner, arrested another six-year-old boy the same day in another incident, and has been expelled from the police force. The agent was assigned to the task of attending schools. Orlando police released a statement in which he recalled that the arrest of children under 12 is possible, but requires the approval of the so-called “surveillance commander.” That approval did not take place in the case of little Kaia, and the police drove her back to her school.
The child’s grandmother says that the child “had her childhood stolen” and adds that her granddaughter did not separate from her the first week and a half after the arrest. The first time he accompanied her to school after the incident, the little girl began to sob because she saw a policeman along the way. Kaia, says his relative, still has nightmares about his arrest.