As an outspoken advocate of the Black community, T.I. has never shied away from using his massive platform to shed a light on the plights of Black America.
The Grand Hustle mogul has often used his voice to demand better for his people. Now, he’s calling for justice after shocking bodycam footage of a distraught six-year-old Black girl, Kaia Rolle, being arrested at school by the Orlando police surfaced online. Her family released footage of her arrest to the Orlando Sentinel earlier this week.
In a video obtained by the Associated Press, the footage shows two officers entering an administrative area of the school where Kaia was sitting quietly while a school employee read a book to her. She then starts sobbing and begging the cops to not arrest her when one of the cops restrained her arms with zip ties. The school employee told the girl she had to go with the cops and that her grandmother would pick her up later. The girl was then led to a police SUV waiting outside in front of the school.
“I don't want to go to the police car,” Kaia told the cops when they walked her outside. “You don’t want to? You have to,” one of the cops responded back. “Please give me a second chance,” Kaia begged as they walked her up to the car. “Please, please, please, let me go,” she continued as one cop picked her up and placed her in the backseat of the vehicle.
“Our children deserve better. This s**t is DEPLORABLE! I AM APOPLECTIC!” T.I. wrote on Instagram in response to the disturbing video on Wednesday (Feb. 26). “The entire staff at this school who allowed this along with the officers who carried out the unlawful abduction of this innocent child SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ALL ACTIVE DUTIES IMMEDIATELY & HELD TO MAXIMUM ACCOUNTABILITY! We as a community owe this child SWIFT ACTION & ULTIMATE JUSTICE! Anyone with any answers, suggestions, leads, or direction [as] to how I can be helpful in getting justice for this beautiful baby PLEASE HIT ME.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Kaia was reportedly arrested in September 2019 at the Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy after throwing a temper tantrum at school, allegedly kicking and punching school employees in the process. A misdemeanor charge against her was also dropped, according to the Sentinel. One of the officers, who has since been identified as Officer Dennis Turner, was fired a week later for failing to follow agency policy that mandates officers must obtain a supervisor’s approval before they arrest children younger than the age of 12.
However, the publication noted that Florida does not stipulate a minimum age for arrest, something Kai’s family would like to see changed. The Rolle family hopes that her case will lead to Florida changing its state law to make the minimum age of arrest 12.
See T.I. 's post in full below.
(Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)