Great Britain

Who was Honestie Hodges and why was she arrested aged 11?

HONESTIE Hodges, 14, was arrested by police at age 11 after they mistakenly took her for a suspect in a stabbing incident.

She tragically passed away on November 25 due to complications from catching Covid-19.

Who was Honestie Hodges?

Honestie Hodges was a 14-year-old girl from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

She was brutally handcuffed by Michigan authorities in 2017 as a suspect in a reported stabbing case.

Her arrest prompted reform within the justice department.

Why was she arrested?

In December 2017, Hodges was at the center of a police scandal when officers handcuffed her and placed her in the back of a patrol car as they searched for a suspect in an alleged stabbing.

The Grand Rapids Police Department said they had been searching for a 40-year-old female suspect connected to the stabbing. 

The incident occurred outside of Hodges’ home, as she left to visit the store with her mother and another family member. 

The disturbing clip shows an officer ask Hodges to place her hands on top of her head, before he is interrupted by her mother screaming, “She is 11 years old, sir!”

Bodycam footage shows the then 11-year-old girl crying as she pleaded with officers not to detain her.

The distressed teen is then told to: “Stop yelling!" by an officer before being searched.

The department later cleared the officers involved of any wrongdoing following an investigation, claiming that no policies had been broken.

How did Honestie Hodges die?

Honestie Hodges, 14, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids after testing positive for coronavirus on her birthday, her family revealed.

Her grandmother, Alisa Niemeyer said in an online update: “It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to tell all of you that my beautiful, sassy, smart, loving Granddaughter has gone home to be with Jesus.”

The 14-year-old was placed on a ventilator and received a blood transfusion, before facing further complications during her hospitalization - including an elevated heart rate and ‘issues associated with her brain.'

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggest Black Americans are 2.6 percent more likely to be hospitalized or die from coronavirus.

What is the Honestie Policy?

The release of the body-cam footage sparked a subsequent public outcry for reform and justice, leading to the introduction of the “Honestie Policy” in 2018, a multi-step plan to promote better interactions between officers and children.  

The policy advises officers to consider the "most reasonable and least restrictive" options for interacting with juveniles.

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