LIVE NOW /
Watch WFLA News Channel 8

Attorney says mother arrested at Pinellas school board meeting over wearing mask didn’t commit crime, questions district police

Pinellas County

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Video of a teenage girl crying and screaming as her mom is arrested at Tuesday’s Pinellas County School Board meeting has gained a lot of attention online. It happened during a dispute over face masks.

Now, the family’s lawyer has a lot of questions for the district’s police department.

News Channel 8’s Christine McLarty spoke to him Friday and is getting answers.

Jeremy Kench said his 13-year-old daughter Alea ended up in the hospital, injured from a Pinellas County School police officer.

“They slammed me and my mom and stomped on my finger,” Alea Kench told 8 On Your Side.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office released a report that said Keri Turner was arrested on a felony, three charges including trespassing, disorderly conduct, and battery on a law enforcement officer.

The report said Turner became combative when police tried putting her in a cruiser, kicking sergeant William Connell in the hand, arm, and thigh.

“My client did not commit any crime. My client was arrested for exercising an unpopular opinion publicly,” Attorney Bert Carrier, representing Turner, told McLarty.

Carrier said police infringed on Turner’s constitutional rights and says he has a lot of questions for the district police.

“Are they properly deputized? Have they been sworn in? Do they have the training to deal with a situation like public meetings where things may get tense?” Carrier said.

News Channel 8 went to the school board headquarters for answers.

No one was available to speak on camera but they sent us a statement saying:

“Pinellas County Schools employs sworn law enforcement officers certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.” The statement continued by saying, “investigations are done through the school district’s office of professional standards.”

Carrier isn’t giving up.

“You should not be intimidated or arrested for exercising your opinion,” he said.

Turner said her daughter Alea is out of the hospital and is doing okay.

Meanwhile, school district police said their internal investigation is ongoing.

News Channel 8 will provide the latest details on the investigation as they are released.

>> Follow Christine McLarty on Facebook

>> Follow Christine McLarty on Twitter

>> Send Christine McLarty a Pinellas County story idea

LATEST NEWS FROM WFLA.COM:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss