A US police officer's body camera has captured the moment a six-year-old from Orlando, Florida, was arrested from her school. The distressing video shows Kaia Rolle crying and pleading with officers as one of them fastens zip ties around her wrist.
According to CNN, the girl was arrested after throwing a temper tantrum at her school - The Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy - during which she allegedly kicked a staff member. The incident took place in September, though the video was released only recently.
As per a statement by the school's principal, assistant principal and two school staff members, Kaia began screaming because she wanted to wear her sunglasses in school, and was led to the office "kicking and screaming". A staff member said that the school resource officer tried to calm her down, but she wouldn't listen.
"Kaia became aggressive hitting me with her hands in the chest and stomach area," the assistant principal wrote in the statement. "I restrained her by holding her forearms."
Kaia's grandmother Meralyn Kirkland said that her temper came from side effects of sleep apnea, and the school was aware of the issue.
It is not clear when police officers were called to intervene in the situation. However, footage released shows Kaia weeping while an officer restrains her with a zip tie. "No, don't… don't put handcuffs on," the six-year-old can be heard pleading with police officer Dennis Turner.
"Please, please," the schoolgirl continued as she was put into a police vehicle by an officer. "Please let me go."
After putting her in the car, Officer Turner reportedly said that Kaia's arrest broke a record for the youngest person he arrested. "She's six. Now she has broken the record," he said, according to CBS News.
The Orlando Police Department has apologised to Kaia Rolle's family and fired Dennis Turner after an internal investigation. CNN reports that the second officer in the video was "exonerated" after an "investigation revealed that he notified his supervisor multiple times about concerns with the arrest but was never given instruction not to proceed with the prisoner transport."
And in a statement to CNN, Orlando Police said, "The arrest of any person under the age of 12 requires the approval of the Watch Commander, which was not obtained in this case. The 6-year-old was released from custody and returned to the school prior to being processed at the Juvenile Assessment Center."
Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy also released a statement on September 24 last year, saying: "Never did anyone within our organization request or direct the School Resource Officer to arrest this student."
"I'm really hurt because they stole her childhood from her," Kaia Rolle's grandmother said, adding that the girl still has nightmares about the arrest.