Disturbing video footage has been released of police officers in Michigan handcuffing a wailing young Black girl at gunpoint outside of her home.
Honestie Hodges is an 11-year-old resident of Grand Rapids, Mich. On the night of Dec. 6, Honestie was leaving her house to go to the store with two adults when she was confronted by Grand Rapids police, according to WOOD TV8, a local NBC affiliate. Officers approached her and told her to walk backwards with her hands up. She was then patted down, placed in handcuffs and put in the back of a police cruiser.
Warning: Video may be disturbing to some viewers. Video via ABC7 Chicago.
On the video, Honestie repeatedly screams, “No! No! No!” over the sound of handcuffs tightening.
“You’re not going to jail or anything,” an officer says.
Police cars “were lined all the way down the alley,” Whitney Hodges, Honestie’s mother, described.
Officers were looking for Honestie’s aunt, Carrie Manning, who was suspected in a stabbing. Manning is a 40-year-old white woman.
“And 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,'” Hodges said.
“When my mom was walking past, I was putting my hands through the little bars leaning out of the window, screaming, ‘Please don’t let them take me,'” Honestie recalled to WOOD TV8.
“It made me feel scared and it made me feel like I did something wrong,” she added. “I’m afraid to open or go near my back door because of what happened.”
The incident has left Honestie with a negative perception of law enforcement.
“At first I wanted to be a police officer, but now I don’t want anything to do with those kind of things.”
The Grand Rapids Police Department has launched an internal investigation.
“Listening to the 11-year-old’s response makes my stomach turn. It makes me physically nauseous,” Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said during a press conference following the release of the video footage, which Rahinsky described as “disturbing.”
“The juvenile is treated the same way you would have treated any adult,” he said. “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.”
Honestie is hardly the first young Black girl to be targeted and treated like a suspect by police.
Over the summer, Black teenager Tatyana Hargrove says she was beaten by police and attacked by a K-9 dog after pausing a bike ride to take a drink of water on a 103 degree day in Bakersfield, Calif.
Police were searching for a suspect who had threatened patrons at a grocery store with a machete when they came across Hargrove. The man they were searching for stood 5’10”, weighed 170 pounds and was male.
In very sharp contrast, Hargrove is 19, female, about 115 pounds and 5’2″, and she was unarmed at the time of the attack.
In 2015 a former Texas police officer made headlines when he assaulted and forcibly shoved to the ground Dajerria Becto, a 15-year-old Black girl who was wearing a bathing suit at the time, and pointed a weapon at other Black teens at a pool party. Another partygoer recorded Eric Casebolt chasing kids, shouting expletives and barking orders almost exclusively to Black teens.
Later that same year a 16-year-old Black girl in South Carolina was attacked by a former senior deputy when she refused to put her cell phone away. Ben Fields, the former deputy, flipped the young girl’s desk over in the middle of the classroom while she was still sitting in it.