Police in western Michigan are coming under public fire for pointing a loaded gun at an 11-year old girl.
Searching for a 40-year old woman in Grand Rapids, officers encountered a frightened, prepubescent girl outside a local residence. Screaming, yelling, and clearly scared for her life, law enforcement made an unbelievable decision.
In an almost minute-long video captured on an officer’s body-cam, a policeman points his gun at the girl. On the ground, arms pinned behind her back, handcuffs come out. The clink and click of metal fasteners only adds to her discomfort.
Law enforcement was, at the time, looking for a middle-age white woman named Carrie Manning, suspected of stabbing her younger sister. She was reportedly somewhere in the area when members of the Grand Rapids PD descended on the neighborhood.
Instead of finding Manning, officers came across 11-year old Honestie Hodges, on the way to a local store with her mom and aunt.
The girl, related to Manning through her mother, is black.
When officers ran into the family, they instructed each individual to approach slowly. The mother, aunt, and girl were handcuffed.
But what prompted one cop to point his gun at a little girl remains something of a mystery.
The Washington Post speculates that, based off the video evidence, Honestie may have been following directions a little too quickly. An officer had asked her to put her hands on her hand, turn around, and walk backward toward him.
With his gun trained on the girl, her mother tried to intervene.
“That is my child!” she yelled. “She’s 11 years old!”
While being handcuffed, the officer made an awkward attempt to keep her calm.
“You’re not going to jail or anything,” they said, but Honestie kept screaming.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” the girl told local Fox affiliate WXMI in an interview. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve never got in trouble by the Grand Raids police. I used to want to be a Grand Rapids police officer, but ever since that happened, I want nothing to do with them.”
Chief of police David Rahinsky said on Tuesday that he too found Honestie’s treatment at the hands of his officers unbelievable.
Instead of pulling out a firearm and handcuffs, Rahinsky says they should have “asked the 11-year old to back to you, take her behind the car and had a very different conversation with her.”
In response to the footage and now-national outcry, the Grand Rapids Police Department will initiate an internal investigation into the matter.
“Are there incidents where you deal with young people who present a danger either to other people or themselves?” he asked.
“Yes. But I don’t believe this is one of them.”