In Grand Rapids Michigan, police held Honestie Hodges, an 11-year-old black girl, at gunpoint while handcuffing her due to a case of mistaken identity—very mistaken. Police were looking for a 40-year-old white woman.
Grand Rapids Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the events of December 6th. Honestie ended up in the back of a police car as officers searched for an attempted murder suspect, Honestie’s aunt, Carrie Manning. In a press conference on Tuesday, Chief David Rahinsky showed the bodycam footage of the incident.
In the video, Honestie walks backwar towards the police, with a light and gun trained on her. They handcuff her and push her into a squad car. Honestie is crying the entire time.
Chief Rhanisky is making no excuses for the officers. “They go to your heart,” he said as the tape was played. “You hear the mother yelling from the steps, ‘That’s my child!’ That’s our community’s child. That’s someone who lives in Grand Rapids. That’s someone who should feel safe running to an officer.
“The juvenile is treated the same way you would have treated any adult,” Rahinsky said, adding that the officers are under investigation. “And when you’re dealing with an 11-year-old, it’s inappropriate. So, as an agency, we’re going to have some tough conversations that include the community.”
The officers claimed that they arrested Honestie and two other women because they couldn’t determine if one of them were the suspect, or if they were armed.
And these events have changed Honestie forever. Before that night, she wanted to pursue a career when she grew up, but now she “[doesn’t] want anything to do with those things.”
“I’m just wondering why they did that to me,” Honestie said.