kaia kirkland tantrum arrest

WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando/YouTube Alex Dalbey

People are outraged that a 6-year-old was arrested for a temper tantrum

The arresting officer has been suspended.


Alex Dalbey


Posted on Sep 23, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 3:09 am CDT

A Florida grandmother is speaking out after her 6-year-old granddaughter was handcuffed and arrested for having a temper tantrum at school. People on social media are expressing shock and disgust over the incident.

Kirkland told local news station WFLA she was in disbelief when school officials told her that her granddaughter Kaia, who is in the first grade at Lucious and Emma Nixon Elementary in Orlando, was being arrested and charged over a temper tantrum. 

Kirkland also said when she tried to explain that Kaia has a sleep condition that she has been struggling with, the officer responded, “Well I have sleep apnea and I don’t behave like that.”

“Another unfortunate and disgusting example of how the system works overtime to criminalize black and brown children from an early age,” former ESPN host and writer Jemele Hill tweeted.

A recent study found that Black students and students with disabilities are significantly more likely to be disciplined in school, including suspensions and arrests. 


According to Essence, the arresting officer, Dennis Turner, has been suspended and is under internal investigation. He arrested an 8-year-old on Thursday, and in both cases, he did not follow departmental procedures for arresting children.

Turner has previously been lightly disciplined for using excessive force while in uniform. In 1998, he was arrested for beating his seven-year-old son. When officials at his school noticed welts on bruises on his child, Turner reportedly said, “Don’t let this stop you from disciplining your children.” 



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*First Published: Sep 23, 2019, 12:26 pm CDT