Michigan police officers won’t be disciplined for detaining a screaming 11-year-old girl at her home while searching for an aunt suspected in a stabbing a relative.
The Grand Rapids Police Department said in a statement that an internal investigation of the December 6 incident found the officers didn’t violate department policy.
Bodycam footage shows police handcuffing Honestie Hodges as an officer repeatedly tells the screaming and crying girl she’s not being arrested.
Police also issued a statement Monday saying they detained the women and the girl because officers hadn’t determined if they were suspects
Honestie Hodges listens during a Greater Grand Rapids NAACP press conference at Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids,
Grand Rapids police detained the Honesti and two other women, including the girl’s mother, as they exited the house
Tavian Moore, president of the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP youth council. The NAACP says police used excessive force
The incident happened Wednesday as Honestie Hodges was leaving her Grand Rapids home to go to a store
Police said Carrie Manning, the aunt suspected of stabbing another relative, didn’t end up being at the home.
Manning, 40, was later found at another home and arrested on charges of assault with intent to murder and resisting and obstructing arrest.
Police Chief David Rahinsky said the footage left him feeling ‘nauseated,’ but the officers followed procedure.
‘What that doesn’t mean is that we don’t recognize that there is a need for us to look at what occurred and identify opportunities here to ensure different outcomes in the future,’ he said.
The incident happened Wednesday Honesti Hodges (pictured) was leaving her Grand Rapids home to go to a store
He said officers will receive new training and better supervision as part of a multi-step plan that will include an ‘Honestie policy’ for how officers should interact with children.
‘Concrete steps are being taken to ensure equitable outcomes in our interactions with the community,’ Rahinsky said.
Some area pastors were upset that the officers were cleared, saying such investigations should be handled externally.
‘We are dismayed that there would even be the possibility of no disciplinary action on behalf of an officer, especially since the process of investigation and discipline is totally controlled by the Grand Rapids Police Department,’ said the Rev. Jerry Bishop, of LifeQuest Ministries.
Cle Jackson, an NAACP official, said Tuesday that the group wants to sit down with unions representing Grand Rapids officers to demand that police ‘know better’ and ‘do better.’
Grand Rapids police detained the Honesti and two other women, including the girl’s mother, as they exited the house.
The girl’s mother said officers ordered her daughter to come down from the porch with her hands up.
‘The whole time they are telling her to come down, I’m telling them, ‘She’s 11 years old. That’s my daughter. Don’t cuff her,” Whitney Hodges said.
Her daughter said the incident left her scared.
‘It made me feel scared and it made me feel like I did something wrong,’ Honesti told the television station. ‘I’m afraid to open or go near my back door because of what happened.’
Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said Tuesday that his officers should have exercised discretion, rather than handcuffing the girl.
Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said that his officers should have exercised discretion, rather than handcuffing the girl (Pictured: Whitney Hodges)
He said police body-camera footage of the girl screaming as she’s being taken into custody are ‘disturbing’ and show the need for policing changes.
Police also issued a statement Monday saying they detained the women and the girl because officers hadn’t determined if they were suspects. Police said the women weren’t armed.
‘The 11-year-old was handcuffed for a total of 2 minutes while she was brought back into the alley and patted down to make sure that she did not have anything dangerous on her,’ Grand Rapids Police Department spokeswoman Cathy Williams said.
Honesti was then placed in the police cruiser for about 10 minutes. She was later allowed to stand in the alley with her other siblings, Williams said.
Officers got permission to search the house and didn’t locate the suspect. The women and girl were then released, police said.
An internal investigation was launched the day after the incident following a complaint from Honesti’s family.