A former Orlando police officer working as a resource officer in an elementary school is now without a job after he arrested a pair of six-year-olds. Dennis Turner, who is Black, has a history of violent behavior on his record according to several reports.
An Orlando elementary school resource officer who arrested two 6-year-olds in two separate incidents was fired Monday, said Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.
Rolon said during an afternoon press conference the department was trying to give the officer “at least the benefit” of reviewing paperwork and statements.
“It was clear today when I came into work that there was no other remedy than to terminate this officer,” he said.
Rolon added that one of his top priorities as the chief of police is “to earn and protect the trust between the community and its officers” and this incident put that trust into question.
“On behalf of myself and the Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families,” Rolon said.
Police initially said one child was 8 years old, but Rolon said Monday they were both 6 years old.
Turner attempted to arrest a six-year-old girl who was having a temper tantrum last week at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy. The family of the girl claimed that the girl was fingerprinted and had a mugshot taken of her, but Orlando police denied the claim and say the girl was not processed. The other six-year-old, a boy, was reportedly processed through the juvenile system and released to his parents.
Chief Rolon made slight mention of Turner’s own issues with his son, whom he allegedly beat after bringing home a bad report card in 1998 when the boy was seven years of age. Turner was arrested but said in an interview with The Sentinel that he felt within rights to administer discipline to his child. In 2015, Turner was reprimanded for excessive force after tasing an already-downed suspect repeatedly.