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Grand Rapids chief: Handcuffing of girl, 11, was disturbing

14 December 2017

Honestie said she, her mother Whitney Hodges, and one of her aunts were leaving their home the night of December 6 when they unexpectedly encountered officers in the middle of a search.

Grand Rapids police officers were at the home looking for the girl's 40-year-old aunt, Carrie Manning.

"An internal affairs investigation was launched over the officers" treatment of the child and how the entire situation was handled. The guns were lowered and the girl was patted down and handcuffed while police determined if the knife from the stabbing had been passed off to her.

"I'm afraid to open or go near my back door ... because of what happened", she told WOOD-TV.

"It made me feel scared and it made me feel like I did something wrong", Honestie told the TV station. The family is upset because Manning is a 40-year-old white woman and Honestie is an 11-year-old black girl.

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky admitted the video was hard to watch.

NBC-affiliate KING-TV quoted Rahinsky as saying, "Listening to the 11-year-old's response makes my stomach turn". That's someone who lives in Grand Rapids.

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Rahinsky acknowledged that sometimes suspects try to hide weapons by giving them to children, but also said he didn't believe this was a situation where the child posed any danger. So, as an agency, we're going to have some tough conversations that include the community. "You hear the mother yelling from the steps, 'That's my child!' That's our community's child".

She says seeing the video compelled her to go speak at a city commission meeting for the first time.

He said police body-camera film of the young lady shouting as she's being arrested seem to be "exasperating" and demonstrate the requirement for policing changes. "As officers were setting up a perimeter, three females simultaneously exited the home, two adults and one 11-year-old juvenile".

The homeowner gave officers consent to search the home and it was deemed none of the three were the suspect for which the officers were searching, nor was the suspect in the residence.

Police have begun an internal investigation into the matter. The individuals were subsequently released, police said. "And when you're dealing with an 11-year-old, it's inappropriate".

According to the GRPD, officers were looking for a suspect who was involved in an attempted murder on December 6. However, he said, "that's not a defense of what we just saw". "It's been a very, very long day, yet I have hope because I believe I sit amongst colleagues who recognize it is not a good place for us to be as a city".

Grand Rapids chief: Handcuffing of girl, 11, was disturbing