Police Chief responds to new body camera footage showing 11-year-old handcuffed

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- New body camera footage is painting a more complete picture after an 11-year-old girl was held at gun point and handcuffed by Grand Rapids Police. It's a story that gained national exposure. On Friday, an article was released on the situation by The New York Times.

Last week, Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky along with the city commission called the incident 'extremely disturbing' and 'nauseating', saying changes need to be made within the department.

Body camera video released last week showed 11-year-old Honestie Hodges' blood-curdling screams who was visibly terrified to be placed into handcuffs. Eight minutes of new body camera footage reveals unseen moments following with officers attempting to comfort Hodges and explaining to her mother what was happening. Chief Rahinsky says his officers were following protocol and doing what they were trained to do, but still isn't calling this situation a success.

On Friday, Chief Rahinsky released the video along with clarification on his previous comments regarding the incident.

"The officers did as they were trained to do," said Rahinsky. "Their behavior was consistent with policy. They were responding to a very tense situation, but having said that when we look at the outcome I can't deem it a success."

Rahinsky credited the officers for their response to the situation, but said seeing an 11-year-old in distress made him upset.

"What I see there is a lot of good police work," said Rahinsky. "What I see is a heart for service that goes out every day, but I also see an 11-year-old girl in distress. What I asked myself as chief of the department is how can I confirm the 99.9 percent of good police work I see there, but maybe end up with a result that's slightly different, that doesn't put a young girl through what she went through. That's the challenge."

Rahinsky says the department is looking at different crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques. It's an area where he says the department has room for growth.

"Just like Grand Rapids Police Department is cutting edge in most things, I think this is an opportunity for us to be cutting edge in that respect as well."

Chief Rahinsky tells Fox 17 ideally the department would've completed an internal investigation before speaking publicly on this incident, but it's the climate of our times that allows information to get out so quickly and he wants to keep transparency with the public and the department.

Rahinsky says there's still another 100 minutes of body camera footage to review and their internal investigation should be completed by the end of next week.


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  • Old Bob

    I must be reading the story wrong. It almost sounds like Chief Rahinsky is supporting the job the officers did. Better late than never. Maybe there is hope Chief Rahinsky will be the Chief Of Police the city needs and deserves. I sure hope so. It’s time to start supporting his officers and stop kissing the cry babies butts. If the cry babies don’t like the way things are handled here, maybe it’s time for them to move elsewhere.

  • Clucko

    I’ve seen both the old footage and the new. There’s a big difference. The first looked almost traumatic to see while the second shows the human side of the police. Wonder why the difference. Was the first intended to get the public’s shorts in a wad and then try to put the genie back in the bottle with the second? I wonder.

    • Old Bob

      I wonder about almost everything our Chief of Police does. I think he is working for the radical fool that keep protesting everything the police force does.

      • Dimitry

        Police should not be handcuffing innocent children, what the he’ll is wrong with them? I used to want to be a police officer, but I wasn’t a big enough douche bag, couldn’t treat my fellow humans like trash.