GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of religious leaders from the Grand Rapids area are calling for the Department of Justice to get involved after an 11-year-old girl was handcuffed by Grand Rapids police.
More than 30 clergy members from different denominations gathered at Brown-Hutcherson Ministries in Grand Rapids Wednesday morning to address the Dec. 6 incident.
The clergy members say what happened to Honestie Hodges violated her civil rights. They tell 24 Hour News 8 that elected officials are not addressing the issue, so they are reaching out for help, higher up.
“We are not asking for change now, we are cohesively demanding to have the Department of Justice to review the police practices and training mechanisms,” said Jerry Bishop, pastor of Lifequest Ministries.
The faith leaders emphasized that they are not bashing the Grand Rapids Police Department; they want to help the agency and community improve.
Honestie was leaving though the back door of her home to go to the store when she was confronted by officers and arrested at gunpoint as police searched for an attempted murder suspect. The suspect was a 40-year old white woman who happened to be Hodges’ aunt.
The GRPD chief said Tuesday hearing the girl’s screams on body camera video made him physically nauseous. Chief David Rahinsky said the way Honestie was treated was wrong and that he’s looking into changes.
GRPD announced Monday it had launched an internal investigation into the incident.