Young girl held at gunpoint by Grand Rapids police in 2017 dies of COVID

Family says 14-year-old girl died Sunday after 2-week battle with virus

Honestie Hodges, 14, of Grand Rapids, died on Nov. 22, 2020 after a two-week battle with coronavirus, her family says. She was part of a controversial incident with Grand Rapids police in 2017 at 11 years old. Photo courtesy of a the family's GoFundMe page organized by Alisa Niemeyer. (WDIV)

A teenage girl who was involved in a controversial incident with Grand Rapids police in 2017 has died from COVID-19, according to family members.

The 14-year-old girl, Honestie Hodges, reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus on Nov. 9, her birthday. Hodges’ grandmother says the girl was moved to the ICU as her case quickly worsened, and she was placed on a ventilator shortly after.

After battling the virus for two weeks, the young girl died on Sunday, Nov. 22, according to her family members.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to tell all of you that my beautiful, sassy, smart, loving granddaughter has gone home to be with Jesus,” Hodges’ grandmother wrote in a GoFundMe post on Sunday.

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page set up for the girl and her family.

Back in 2017, Hodges was at the center of a controversial police incident that took place at her Grand Rapids home.

On Dec. 13, 2017 the then-11-year-old girl was held at gunpoint, handcuffed and placed into the back of a cruiser by Grand Rapids police. WOOD-TV reported that the young girl was leaving her home to go to a store.

Police say they were at the home looking for the girl’s 40-year-old aunt, who had allegedly stabbed a relative nearby.

Grand Rapids police also detained two other women who exited the house with the girl. Police issued a statement after the incident saying officers detained the women and the girl because they hadn’t determined if they were the suspect. Police say neither the woman nor the girl was armed.

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said the body cam video of the incident made him “nauseous.”

“Listening to the 11-year-old’s response makes my stomach turn,” Rahinsky said.

The police department opened an internal investigation into the incident shortly after. The officer involved was later cleared by investigators.

You can see the bodycam footage in the video below.

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About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.