Legal Action Sought in Widely Criticized Arrest of Florida Girl at School

Screenshot: CBS News

In 2019, Orlando police infuriated the nation after arresting 6-year-old Kaia Rolle for throwing a tantrum in the classroom. The concern of why a little girl was allowed to be handcuffed and taken to juvenile jail is what Rolle’s family aims to address in their latest lawsuit.

Body camera footage showed the now-10-year-old being handcuffed with zipties after throwing a fit in class, as any 6-year-old would. The suit says Rolle’s grandmother told the Lucisous & Emma Nixon Academy Charter School administrators that Rolle struggled with sleep apnea, which causes a temper and heightened irritability due to a lack of sleep. However, even upon the administrators willingness to accommodate her condition, the teacher responded to Rolle’s tantrum by taking her down to the main office, the suit says.

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Turner was later fired for violating the department’s policy which requires officers to get the approval of a watch commander before arresting anyone under 12 years old.

“There is no way a minimum age for an arrest at the age of 7 can be allowed to stand,” said Kirkland.

Kaia’s family and their attorneys are demanding the state of Florida raise the minimum arrest age. State legislators passed the Kaia Rolle Act back in 2021 banning the arrest of kids under 7. When asked what age he sees for the minimum arrest age of Florida, Kaia’s family attorney Bobby DiCello said, “Not less than 14 here in the state of Florida.”

Kaia’s family also filed an amended lawsuit Monday claiming Kaia’s rights were violated by excessive force, a false arrest and what they’re calling malicious prosecution.

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