Shocking new police bodycam footage of a distraught six-year-old girl being arrested and escorted into a police car has been released to the public.
She was arrested on 19 September at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy in Orlando, Florida after kicking and hitting school employees because she wasn’t allowed to wear her sunglasses in class.
Police officials declined to release the bodycam footage at the time for student privacy issues, but her family attorney has recently been given a copy and shared it with local media.
The new video shows the child being restrained as she’s led into the back of a police car, all the while hysterically crying and pleading for people to help her.
She can be heard screaming:
Please, I don’t want to go in the police car… please let me go.
According to State Attorney Aramis Ayala, the girl was taken to a juvenile processing centre, fingerprinted and had her mugshot taken but charges weren’t officially filed.
The police officer who made the arrest, Dennis Turner, has since been fired for breaching protocol.
This is because Orlando Police Department policy specifies an officer must get approval from a watch commander to make an arrest if a child is under 12 years old, and Turner did not do that.
The child's grandmother said the reason for the tantrum was her granddaughter's sleep apnea condition, but that there was no need for it to escalate like it did.
She said at the time of the six-year-old’s arrest:
No six-year-old child should be able to tell somebody that they had handcuffs on them and they were riding in the back of a police car and taken to a juvenile detention centre to be finger-printed.
The incident has also taken a toll on the child's mental health, according to her grandmother:
[She] has had nightmares. She has had two nightmares back to back. She is now fully sleeping in my bedroom.
A week after the incident took place, Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon said:
On behalf of myself and the entire Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families. As a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved.