Chief felt 'physically nauseous' hearing screams of girl cuffed by officers

Saul Bowman
December 15, 2017

Honestie Hodges was leaving her Grand Rapids home last week to go to the store when the incident happened.

WXMI showed the family the body camera video which showed Honestie being placed in handcuffs.

"It made me feel scared and it made me feel like I did something wrong", 11-year-old Honestie told WOOD-TV on Monday.

"You're fine. You're not going to jail or anything", one officer tells Honestie while he cuffs her as her mother screams at officers in the back ground.

Police launched an investigation into Hodges's detainment after a complaint was filed on her behalf. Body cam footage of the arrest, which resulted in the young girl screaming in fear, has set off an internal investigation within the department.

Police said officers were at the home looking for the girl's 40-year-old aunt, Carrie Manning, who was suspected of stabbing a relative nearby, but didn't find her. Manning was wanted for a domestic stabbing, and police believed that she might have been armed and hiding out in the home.

It is unclear how the officers mistook an 11-year-old African-American girl for a grown white woman. They said problems with police relations start with training.

"I'm afraid to open or go near my back door", she said.

Rahinsky said while he recognizes what's it's like in the heat of the moment and dealing with the unknown as a police officer, he could see the disconnect in how Honestie, as an 11-year-old, was treated.

Excellent Rapids police confined the Honesti and two other ladies, including the young lady's mom, as they left the house. The officers determined that the female suspect had fled the residence still armed with the knife, police said.

"The screams of the 11-year-old, they go to your heart".

"I'm speaking this evening because we must fix relationships between our community and the Grand Rapids Police department. We've got work to do as a profession, we've got work to do as an agency and we've got hard discussions to have as a community", Rahinsky said.

At a news conference Tuesday, Police Chief David Rahinsky said the officers' actions were "inappropriate" and video of the arrest made him "nauseous", WOOD Channel 8 reports.

Rahinsky said Tuesday he understands why the officers may have felt the need to search the girl because it was possible an older suspect had handed her a weapon to hold. "I'm speaking this evening because we must fix relationships between our community and the Grand Rapids Police Department".

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