‘That is my child’

Video of police pointing gun at crying 11-year-old black girl ignites outrage in city

Honestie Hodges. (YouTube / ABC News)

Disturbing video of police pointing a gun at and handcuffing an innocent 11-year-old black girl while she screamed in distress has sparked outrage in the girl’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Police were reportedly searching the neighborhood for a 40-year-old white woman named Carrie Manning, who had been accused of stabbing her younger sister, when they came across Honestie Hodges, the suspect’s niece, as she was leaving her home together with her mother and another aunt. The officers asked the women and Honestie to approach them separately, before handcuffing and questioning them all. But in a bizarre show of force that was captured by a police body camera, an officer pointed a gun at Honestie as she approached with her hands raised, then ordered her to put her hands on her head, turn around, and walk backward toward him. In the video, Honestie’s mother can be heard screaming out of fear for her daughter’s life.

“That is my child!” she yelled. “She’s 11 years old.”

As officers handcuffed Honestie, the girl could be heard crying and shrieking the word, “No,” over and over again.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” Honestie told local news outlet WXMI after the ordeal. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve never got in trouble by the Grand Rapids Police. I used to want to be a Grand Rapids police officer, but ever since that happened, I want nothing to do with them.”

Speaking about the incident on Thursday, the city’s police chief said that hearing Honestie’s screams left him feeling “physically nauseous.” While noting that it wasn’t unusual for suspects to ask innocent people — including children — to hold a weapon, he conceded that “no child in our community should experience” what had happened, adding that “we have a lot of work to do, and we know that.”

The incident drew comparisons to a similar case in March, when hundreds protested at the city’s commision chamber after an officer pulled a gun on a group of five black boys between the ages of 12 and 14. Eight officers responded to the scene, and while being held at gunpoint one of the boys could be heard crying, “I don’t want to die.”

Watch the officer’s body cam footage below.

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And for more on the story, watch the ABC News video below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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