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The ex-Orlando cop who was fired this past September after he arrested a 6-year-old girl said she’d broken his personal record. Before her, he explained to an employee at her school, the youngest kid he’d ever arrested was 7.
Earlier in the day, Dennis Turner and another, unnamed responding officer had zip-tied the first-grader’s wrists as she sobbed and pleaded to be released, according to footage from a body-worn camera released this week.
“Please, help me,” the little girl asked the two officers, through tears.
The disturbing video was first obtained by local media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and NBC affiliate WESH Orlando. The two officers were at the school to respond to a report that a young girl had hit and kicked three school staff members.
“Come on, let’s go,” Turner, who was wearing the body camera, can be heard saying to the little girl.
“I don’t want to go in the police car,” she sobbed. “You have to,” the other officer on the scene, who has not been identified, responded.
“No, please!” she said. She had to be lifted into the back of the squad car.
Turner later returned to the school. In the footage, he can be heard saying he’d also once arrested a 7-year-old for stealing.
“6,000 people I’ve arrested, over the 28 years, a lot of people. 7 is the youngest. She’s 8, isn’t she?” He asked an unidentified person at the school, who responded that she was 6. “She’s 6? Now, she has broken the record,” he responded.
When the officers started handcuffing the girl, some employees at the charter school, the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy in Orlando, became rattled and asked whether it was necessary to restrain her, according to Orlando Sentinel reported, although they didn’t step in. The school has since clarified that it didn’t want the girl to be arrested, and the misdemeanor battery charge against her has been dropped.
The Orlando Police Department fired Turner after he made national headlines for arresting the girl and another 6-year-old in the span of one week over unrelated incidents. Florida doesn’t have a minimum age for arrest, but the Orlando police department does have a policy against arresting kids younger than 12 years old without a supervisor’s approval.
The girl’s grandmother said she has a sleep condition that occasionally makes her act out. After she was placed in the back of a police car, she was processed at the local Juvenile Assessment Center and had her fingerprints and mugshot taken. She’s since switched schools, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Cover image: Screenshot via body camera footage