Family fights to raise minimum arrest age in Florida, years after child's arrest

The family of Kaia Rolle, the 6-year-old Orlando girl handcuffed and arrested at a charter school in 2019 is now filing an amended lawsuit. Kaia was accused of kicking and punching three staff members at the school.

The child's grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, says her granddaughter will forever be impacted because of what happened to her.

"We have been advised by her medical providers that this is a lifelong mission of recovery for Kaia," says Kirkland.

Kirkland says she doesn’t want any other child to go through this same experience, which is one of the reasons the family pushed for the passage of the Kaia Rolle Act. The law prohibits children under the age of seven from being arrested.


Kaia’s family says that’s not enough and wants lawmakers to prohibit children younger than 14 years old from being arrested.

"When we had the Kaia Act passed, Kaia was 7, 7 months after Kaia aged out of a law that was named after her…she is now 10. The law that we fought so hard…doesn’t even afford her even protection," says Kirkland.

The family’s attorney, Bobby DiCello, says they’re also pushing for nationwide change.

"We gather here today to make sure all children have the opportunity to be protected from that kind of experience," says DiCello.

This amended lawsuit was filed against the officers involved in arresting Kaia and Orlando’s former Police Chief Orlando Rolon and the attorney says they should get a response within 30 days.