A 14-year-old Michigan girl whose handcuffing by police three years ago sparked outrage has died of COVID-19 complications, her family said Sunday. Honestie Hodges tested positive on Nov. 9—her birthday—and was rushed to a local hospital hours later. Honestie’s grandmother, Alisa Niemeyer, confirmed the teenager’s passing on a GoFundMe page on Sunday, stating: “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.”
The Black teen’s death comes three years after a Grand Rapids police officer placed Honestie in handcuffs at gunpoint in December 2017 as officers searched for a suspect in a stabbing. The altercation, which was confirmed in body-camera footage showing the then-11-year-old crying and pleading with an officer, sparks demands for justice and led to changes in local policies for how police interact with children at crime scenes. The Grand Rapids Police Department, however, found that the officers involved in the arrest did not violate department policy.