Michigan girl, 14, who was detained by police dies of coronavirus

Honestie Hodges was hospitalized on her birthday, the same day she got tested positive.

A Michigan girl who made national headlines after being handcuffed at gunpoint by police at the age of 11 has died from complications of COVID-19. 

Honestie Hodges, 14, was admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids on Nov. 9, the same day she tested positive for the virus. 

A page created to support her mother’s financial concerns while Honestie Hodges was hospitalized notes the teen was tested and admitted to the hospital on her birthday. (GoFundMe.com)

The virus sparked a number of complications in Hodges’ body. She was ultimately put on a ventilator and received a blood transfusion, but she ultimately succumbed to her illness. 

GoFundMe page created to support her mother’s financial concerns while Hodges was hospitalized notes the teen was tested and admitted to the hospital on her birthday. 

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Her grandmother, Alisa Niemeyer, updated the page Sunday, writing “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.” 

In December 2017, Hodges, then 11 years old, was handcuffed at gunpoint by Grand Rapids Police officers searching for a suspect in an alleged stabbing. Body camera footage of the young girl crying and pleading sparked widespread community outrage. 

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The incident led to the development of the “Honestie Policy” in Grand Rapids’ police department, a multi-step plan for how officers should interact with children. 

The policy was structured as a guide, according to MLive. It advised police to consider the “most reasonable and least restrictive” options for interacting with juveniles while also maintaining the safety of the public and police.

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In a 2018 interview, Hodges’ mother, Rennae Wooten, said the incident had left Honestie “traumatized.” 

“She can’t sleep. She doesn’t even want to go to school,” Wooten told the Detroit Free Press, “I want justice. My kids are messed up from this. They got my kids terrified. This is crazy.”

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A vigil in Hodges’ honor was held last night in Grand Rapids, with about 60 people in attendance. 

Kent County, where Grand Rapids is located, has over 29,000 cases of coronavirus. Hodges is the 301st person to die from the virus within its borders. 

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