‘Six year-old’ Girl who was arrested and handcuffed by cops has been diagnosed with PTSD

A Florida girl who was arrested and handcuffed by cops in 2019 for being unruly at school now has PTSD as a result, her grandmother says.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.


In an unforgettable body camera recording taken in 2019 at the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy Charter School in Orlando, first grader Kaia Rolle can be seen begging the officer not to use zip-tie handcuff to restrain her before putting her in patrol SUV and driving her away.


Rolle’s grandma Meralyn Kirkland, says the youngster is now a completely different child, forever changed by that traumatic run-in with police.

About 'Six year-old' Girl who was arrested and handcuffed by cops
About ‘Six year-old’ Girl who was arrested and handcuffed by cops

‘Before the incident, Kaia was an awesome young lady,’ Kirkland told CNN. ‘She wanted to hug everybody, she wanted to sing for everybody, she wanted to dance for everybody. As a result of the incident, Kaia’s been diagnosed with PTSD, with severe separation anxiety. She almost has a solitary lifestyle right now.’

According to DailyMail, the cop who detained Rolle had to use the plastic ties because her wrists were too small for regular cuffs.

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‘Please — give me a second chance! Please, let me go!’ Kaia wails as she’s loaded into the vehicle.


An assistant principal had said that Kaia had hit her and the girl had thrown a temper tantrum when she was not allowed to wear her sunglasses in the classroom, according to CNN, who caught up with the family three years later.


At the time, Florida had no minimum age laws for arrests.

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Kaia’s family released the video, which was widely shared, out of outrage over the arrest.


‘Kaia was so short that the officer had to find a footstool so that she would be at the appropriate shot so he could take her mugshot,’ Kirkland said.


The little girl recalled her confusion and fear that day.


‘I was really scared and confused,’ Kaia said in a recent interview. ‘I said ‘are those police officers for me?”

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She said that she still lives with the memories.


‘I feel bad about what happened at the school with the police officer because I think he was being very mean to me,’ she told broadcasters.


In the footage Orland Police Officer Turner is heard telling a school employee: ‘She’s going to have to come with us now,’ before he motions to Kaia and commands: ‘Stand up, stand up … come over here.’

‘What are those for?’ Kaia asks.


‘It’s for you,’ Turner replies.


Kaia then breaks down in tears as she begs another officer not to put her in the restraints.


‘It’s not going to hurt,’ the second says.


‘No, no, I don’t want handcuffs on!’ Kaia howls. ‘No, don’t put handcuffs on! Please!’


The six-year-old girl was taken to a juvenile detention center and charged with misdemeanor battery, according to an arrest report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.


Prosecutors dropped the charge the following day.

About 'Six year-old' Girl who was arrested and handcuffed by cops
About ‘Six year-old’ Girl who was arrested and handcuffed by cops

One of the arresting officers, Dennis Turner, was fired by the Orlando Police Department in the wake of the incident as it was revealed that he’d also arrested another six-year-old in an unrelated incident at the school on the same day.


The Rolle family worked with Florida state legislators after the incident to raise the minimum age for arrest, which was dubbed the Kaia Rolle Act. It went into effect on July 2021 and prohibits children under seven-years-old to be arrested or prosecuted except in the case of violent felony.


‘We shouldn’t be putting handcuffs on six-year-olds,’ Dr. Chris Curran, the director of the University of Florida Educational Policy Research Center told he cable news show. ‘There’s almost no situation in which that is an appropriate response.’

A week after Kaia’s family raised alarm about the arrest, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon told reporters that he was ‘appalled’ by Turner’s actions.


‘As a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved,’ Rolon said.


‘We could fathom the idea of a six-year-old being put in the back of a police car.’


Just last year, when Kaia turned 8-years-old, she said that she was scared because the law no longer protects her. Now, the family wants the age raised again.


‘For Kaia, the future is a long road,’ her grandmother said. ‘You can learn to live with it, you can learn to live with some semblance of normalcy, but there is no cure for PTSD.’

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