This Police Officer Has Got to Go! By Korea Steger, Clark Atlanta University

By October 23, 2019 Voices of Change 2 Comments

He Has Got to GO!!

     For most situations, right and wrong is not always black and white. But let me tell y’all, this man was completely wrong! Dennis Turner, an Orlando Police officer, responded to a call about a six year old child, Kaia Rolle, who had thrown a temper tantrum and kicked one of her teachers. This man whose job it is to maintain peace, hand cuffed this child, put her in back of a police car and drove her to a juvenile detention center. As if she wasn’t a BABY! It breaks my heart that such a young child had to experience being treated like a criminal. The reality is that young children have temper tantrums, it is their teacher’s role to calm them down, not have them arrested. 

      According to CBS4 News, the police officer did not have permission to take these children into custody. Kaia’s grandmother says that she believes this happened because the girl was suffering from a medical condition, sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, which can cause irregular sleep patterns can lead to behavioral problems. The little girl was charged with misdemeanor battery charges. On Monday, September 23, 2019, State Attorney Aramis Ayala apologized for the incident and stated that the charges had been dropped. 

     All officers require to seek approval from their watch commander before arresting anyone under the age of 12, but the department says that Turner did not follow by department policy. Turner was eventually fired from the Orlando police department. As he should have been. However, this situation should have never occurred to begin with. Kaia was just six years old and there is nothing that can be done to comfort her or lift the fear from her shoulders

         Though Turner has been fired, there is a much bigger issue at hand. Turner has been known to abuse his own child in public, as well as assaulting his ex-wife’s boyfriend. This makes me wonder how he was able to keep his job. How is someone with their own behavioral problems able to police the actions of others? The background and training necessary to become a police officer has proven time and time again to be insufficient. There need to be some crucial changes made to our police departments before citizens can put our trust back in them.

How can someone, who is supposed to be a protector do something so cruel? 

Should the qualifications necessary to be a police officer be changed, if so, how?


  • Jahi Flowers says:

    In all honesty, it still confuses me how a man can be a police officer when he can’t even manage his own anger. However, when it comes to what qualifies an individual to be a policeman or policewomen, the qualifications are extremely lackadaisical. And as someone who knows domestic abuse survivors, it is apparent that abuse happens over a course of time. This could even suggest that his natural proclivity for violence is a quality he has always possessed, but the issue is how he was able to obtain this position of power. Unfortunately, I know that the answer to my question has a lot do with the color of his skin. But its stories like these that continue to keep my relationship with police officers cautious and distant.

  • Kayla Howard says:

    I think you’ve brought up a great point. There need to be more strict guidelines regarding who can become a police officer, and how long their training should be. Also, police officers are given too many chances. A single violent outburst or exertion of necessary of force should cost them their job, because the consequences can be fatal.

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