The Michigan police officers who handcuffed and frightened an 11-year-old girl won't face any disciplinary action, but they're getting a new set a rules for dealing with kids that's been dubbed the "Honestie policy."
Named after the girl, Honestie Hodges, the policy requires Grand Rapids Police Department officers to get to know the kids on their beats.
“Starting right away, all patrol officers will have more interaction with community children on a rotating schedule, working with several outreach programs,” the police said in a statement.
Lieutenants trained in “cultural competency and de-escalation techniques” will be added to each patrol shift, and all officers will get more “dynamic-scenario training including children.”
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The new policy will lead to “tangible outcomes, making a real and lasting difference in our community,” Police Chief David Rahinsky said in the statement.
The fact that the officers are not being disciplined means they did not violate any departmental policy and “in no way diminishes our commitment to identifying what can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Rahinsky added.
Still unexplained is why the police officers, who were chasing a 40-year-old white woman in connection with a stabbing, wound up detaining Honestie, who is African-American, at gunpoint.
Neither Honestie nor her mom, Whitney Hodges, could be reached for comment about the new policy and developments. But African-American leaders said they believe the officers should have faced some kind of disciplinary action.
“We are dismayed that there would even be the possibility of no disciplinary action on behalf of an officer, especially since the process of investigation and discipline is totally controlled by the Grand Rapids Police Department, “ the Rev. Jerry Bishop said at a meeting with Rahinsky and city leaders Wednesday.
Rahinsky said they are working with religious leaders and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to make sure this does not happen again.
“We’re not going to agree on everything, but what’s important is that we are sitting at the table together,” he said.
Honestie was confronted by officers with guns drawn this month as she was leaving her house by the back door to go to the store. She said the officers ordered her to walk backward with her hands up. Then, after cuffing her, she said they patted her down and shoved her into the back of a squad car.
“When my mom was walking past, I was putting my hands through the little bars, banging on the windows screaming, ‘Please don’t let them take me!’” she told the local NBC affiliate WOOD.
Honestie’s mom and another woman in the house were also detained briefly before they were let go, police said.
The woman police were seeking was Honestie’s aunt, Carrie Manning, who was later arrested a few blocks away for allegedly stabbing her sister. She was charged with assault with intent to murder, resisting arrest and other charges.