304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
The family of a six-year-old girl who was arrested, bound with zipties and perp walked for causing a tantrum at school is suing a Florida police department.
Kaia Rolle, who was a first grader at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy Charter School, begged the officer not to use handcuff to restrain her before putting her in a patrol SUV and driving her away in 2019.
The ordeal went viral at the time – and shocked the nation, causing widespread outrage at the Orlando Police Department and the officers involved.
The new lawsuit, filed against the city of Orlando and several police officers, is now seeking $50,000 compensation for the child’s suffering after the ‘terrorizing, cruel, and senseless’ arrest, as well as her medical expenses.
Her grandmother previously said that the police ‘ruined’ the child’s life when they escorted her out of school, arrested her, and charged her with a misdemeanor battery.
Kaia’s grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland (pictured with her). Kaia Rolle, who was a first grader at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy Charter School, begged the officer not to use handcuff to restrain her before putting her in patrol SUV and driving her away in 2019
An officer is seen leading Kaia out of the school with zip ties on her wrists
The suit, filed on September 18, alleges that officers Dennis Turner and Sergio Ramos, ‘had no probable cause’ and ‘used excessive force’ during the detention.
The officers handcuffed the child with zipties and took her out of the building, before fingerprinting her at a detention center and taking her mugshot.
She was ‘having a tantrum’ due to her pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, which was a disorder that her school was already aware of. She was trying to keep her glasses on, but her teacher wanted her to remove them.
According to the suit, the arresting officers spoke to her grandmother Meralyn Kirkland who pleaded with them to not arrest the child. But they did not listen.
The new lawsuit claims that the child had her DNA taken at the juvenile detention center, and had to step on a step stool to take her mugshot.
The arresting officer, Dennis Turner, was fired by the Orlando Police Department in the wake of the incident as it was revealed that he’d also arrested another six-year-old in an unrelated incident at the school on the same day.
Turner had to use the plastic ties because her wrists were too small for regular cuffs.
‘Please — give me a second chance! Please, let me go!’ Kaia wailed as she was placed in the car
Kaia Rolle suffers from PTSD and severe separation anxiety after she was handcuffed and arrested for throwing a temper tantrum in first grade
‘Please — give me a second chance! Please, let me go!’ Kaia wailed as she was loaded into the vehicle.
An assistant principal had said that Kaia had hit her and the girl had thrown a temper tantrum when she was not allowed to wear her sunglasses in the classroom.
At the time, Florida had no minimum age laws for arrests.
Kaia’s family released the video, which was widely shared, out of outrage over the arrest.
‘Kaia was so short that the officer had to find a footstool so that she would be at the appropriate shot so he could take her mugshot,’ Meralyn Kirkland, her grandmother, said at the time.
The little girl recalled her confusion and fear that day.
‘I was really scared and confused,’ Kaia said in an interview from 2021. ‘I said ‘are those police officers for me?”
In the footage Orland Police Officer Turner is heard telling a school employee: ‘She’s going to have to come with us now,’ before he motions to Kaia and commands: ‘Stand up, stand up … come over here.’
‘What are those for?’ Kaia asks.
‘It’s for you,’ Turner replies.
Kaia Rolle was a happy, outgoing child before she was arrested at age 6. Now she is withdrawn, her grandmother says, and lives a ‘solitary lifestyle’
Body camera footage shows Orlando police officers arresting sobbing six-year-old Kaia Rolle at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy Charter School on September 19, 2019
Kaia’s family released the video of the outrageous arrest, which shows the child tearfully pleading for officers to let her go before they restrained her with zip ties
Orlando police school resource officer Dennis Turner, shown during his 2018 retirement ceremony, was fired for arresting the two children
Kirkland said Kaia had thrown a tantrum at the Lucious & Emma Nixon Academy (pictured above) she has sleep apnea, and that she told the arresting officer the family was ‘working to resolve’ the sleep disorder.
Kaia then breaks down in tears as she begs another officer not to put her in the restraints.
‘It’s not going to hurt,’ the second says.
‘No, no, I don’t want handcuffs on!’ Kaia howls. ‘No, don’t put handcuffs on! Please!’
Speaking to Insider two years ago, the grandmother said: ‘She’s still a loving child, but she’s not as fun and loving the way she once was.
‘Before, she saw some good in everything, and nothing used to bring her down, but now she has to bring herself out of despair.’
The Kaia Rolle Act currently bars the arrest of kids under 7 years old – and the family are now calling on the state to raise this to 12.
‘We shouldn’t be putting handcuffs on six-year-olds,’ Dr. Chris Curran, the director of the University of Florida Educational Policy Research Center told he cable news show. ‘There’s almost no situation in which that is an appropriate response.’
Bobby DiCello, an attorney representing Kaia’s family, said: ‘I’ve never seen a child with her hands bound at the age of 6, walked out by a man three times the size of her.’