The young girl at the center of a police controversy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that changed written policy for how officers interact and detain children has died from COVID-19, MLive.com reports.
On 11/09/2020 (her Birthday) my 14 year old Granddaughter Honestie was taken to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital by my daughter. Honestie tested positive for COVID-19 and was sent home. Later that evening Honestie was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, since then Honestie was moved to ICU. She has had a iron transfusion, she’s oxygen now but they are talking about putting her on a ventilator and possibly a feeding tube, she’s receiving a blood transfusion as I write this.
In an update posted on Nov. 22, Niemeyer wrote, “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, a Grand Rapids police officer handcuffed Honestie, then age 11, while other officers searched for one of her aunts suspected in a stabbing, according to Detroit Free Press. Honestie cried and pleaded with officers not to handcuff her, but they did. The child remained handcuffed for approximately 2 minutes and was confined to the back of a police cruiser for approximately 10 minutes.
“No, please,” Honestie cried as officers place handcuffs on her. One officer replied, “You’re fine. You’re not going to jail or anything.” An officer can also be heard telling her, “Stop yelling.”
Trigger Warning: Police violence; Violence against Black girls.
While former Police Chief David Rahinksy claimed at the time that the body cam footage left him “nauseated,” the Grand Rapids Police Department cleared its officers of any wrongdoing. It opted, instead, to adopt a youth interaction policy named the “Honestie Policy,” purported to change the way officers interact with children.
The family’s GoFundMe page is still active. According to Niemeyer, Honestie’s mother, who has four other children, was unable to work as she remained by her daughter’s side.
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