Grand Rapids Police who pointed a gun at an 11-year-old African-American girl before putting her in hand cuffs will not face disciplinary actions. The department has decided instead, to enact a policy-effective immediately which forces the police to get to know the kids on their beat.
In a statement released yesterday, GRP stated police officers will begin to participate in outreach programs with local youth.
The police were at the residence looking for 11-year-old Honestie Hodge’s aunt, an older white woman. For some reason the officers decided to place 11-year-old Hodges in handcuffs even though the young girl posed no threat to the officers and she was not the person of interest. Needless to say, this young girl is scarred for life and at 11-years-old, introduced to the ways in which she will be percieved in the world and specifically by police.
Grand Rapids, MI (December 20, 2017, 5:00 pm)
The Grand Rapids Police Department today released the remaining 100 minutes of the body worn camera footage from the December 6 incident involving an 11-year-old on the City’s Northwest Side.
The GRPD also announced the conclusion of the internal investigation into the incident. The internal investigation determined that the actions taken by officers that night did not constitute a violation of department policy.
“No discipline will be issued,” Police Chief David Rahinsky said. “This, however, in no way diminishes our commitment to identifying what can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future. Concrete steps are being taken to ensure equitable outcomes in our interactions with the community.”
Rahinsky said the interim actions to be taken include:
Work on policies affecting children: Chief Rahinsky has assigned Deputy Chief Eric Payne to lead the development of the “Honestie” policy. This team will share its work with the Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force for discussion, revisions and implementation. Deputy Chief Payne’s team will involve key members of the department, including those who are assigned to Youth Commonwealth.
Staffing: The Grand Rapids Police Department commits to an immediate comprehensive examination of its staffing model.
*Chief Rahinsky will request additional lieutenant positions to support each patrol shift. These positions will provide experienced supervision, coaching and mentoring to patrol officers specific to dynamic situations similar to the December 6 incident.
*These operational lieutenants assigned to each shift will undergo unique training in cultural competency and de-escalation techniques.
Training: All sworn personnel will receive additional dynamic-scenario training that includes children. This innovative approach is not standard for police agencies across the country.
Interaction with children: Effective immediately, all road patrol officers will have increased interaction with our community’s children on a rotating schedule. This will include the daily activities of the following programs and outreach collaborations:
*Grand Rapids Area Boys and Girls Clubs
*Youth Police Academy
*Pathways to Policing
“We are confident that this introspection and these new measures will lead to tangible outcomes, making a real and lasting difference in our community,” Chief Rahinsky said. “We look forward to continuing our partnerships and dialogue with the community.”
Chief Rahinsky will be available for comment this afternoon between 5:00 and 5:30 pm at the police department.