'Beautiful, Sassy, Smart' Honestie Hodges, Handcuffed By Police At 11, Dies At 14

Written by on November 25, 2020

Honestie Hodges, 14, a “stunning, sassy, sensible” teenager, made nationwide information at age 11 after police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, disturbingly handcuffed her outdoors her residence in 2017. On Sunday, she died from COVID-19 problems, based on her household. 

Alisa Niemeyer, Honestie’s grandmother, posted updates in regards to the 14-year-old’s well being situation on a GoFundMe web page she created on Nov. 13. On the web site, Niemeyer mentioned her granddaughter had been taken to the Helen DeVos Kids’s Hospital in Grand Rapids on Nov. 9 — her birthday — and had examined optimistic for the coronavirus. The hospital despatched Honestie residence, however she was later rushed again and moved to the intensive care unit, Niemeyer mentioned.

She up to date the web page on Sunday to say her grandchild had died. 

Honestie first made nationwide headlines after bodycam footage confirmed Grand Rapids cops handcuffing the then-11-year-old Black baby with their weapons drawn outdoors her residence. Police mentioned on the time that officers had been trying to find a suspect accused of stabbing one other relative.

The suspect, a white girl in her 40s, was later discovered at one other residence and arrested. Honestie, in the meantime, could possibly be heard within the footage screaming in terror.

Many had been outraged by how Grand Rapids Police Division officers had handled a frightened baby. The incident fueled continued nationwide conversations surrounding police interactions with Black youngsters. 

Honestie herself spoke out in regards to the incident on the time.

“I’ve a query for the Grand Rapids police: If this occurred to a white baby, if her mom was screaming, ‘She’s 11,’ would you have got handcuffed her and put her at the back of a police automobile?” she requested, based on Michigan’s MLive. 

The Grand Rapids Police Division’s actions towards Honestie sparked an inner investigation. The police chief on the time, David Rahinsky, mentioned that listening to the woman’s frightened response within the footage made him nauseous.

However not one of the officers concerned had been disciplined after the investigation discovered that they didn’t violate the division’s coverage. The division later adopted the “Honestie Coverage” to enhance police interactions with youngsters.

On Honestie’s GoFundMe web page, Niemeyer listed the medical care that her granddaughter had obtained throughout her hospitalization, together with an iron transfusion and a blood transfusion. She then wrote on Nov. 14 that Honestie had been positioned on a ventilator.

On Nov. 22, Niemeyer up to date the web page: “It’s with a particularly heavy coronary heart that I’ve to inform all of you that my stunning, sassy, sensible loving Granddaughter has gone residence to be with Jesus.”

Lynn Sutfin, public info officer for the Michigan Division of Well being & Human Companies, defined in an announcement that no less than one particular person youthful than 14 has died from COVID-19 in Michigan.

“MDHHS mourns the lack of each life misplaced in relation to COVID-19 and continues to work tirelessly to guard all Michiganders from this lethal illness,” the assertion learn. It later continued, “There have been lower than 6 deaths of people 0-19 years outdated in Michigan.”

The division doesn’t present the precise variety of deaths for an age group if there are lower than six deaths, Sutfin mentioned. 

Many individuals on Twitter have responded to information of Honestie’s loss of life, analyzing how two pandemics — systemic racism and the coronavirus — impacted her life and the way they intersect.

A Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention report analyzing information from Feb. 12 to July 31 discovered that whereas signs related to COVID-19 had been milder for kids in comparison with adults, there have been racial disparities within the variety of coronavirus-related deaths amongst individuals below age 21. 

The company discovered that 121 individuals below age 21 died throughout that point interval. Of them, 78% had been Black, Hispanic or American Indian younger individuals.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted about Honestie on Tuesday, writing that “America failed this woman.”

Comic W. Kamau Bell, host of “United Shades of America,” tweeted that the teenager had “already skilled police brutality at 11.”

“This story is a haunting reflection of what this nation does to black youngsters,” wrote creator and columnist Liz Plank on Wednesday. “If the police don’t kill them, the federal government’s negligence of them does.”


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