Honestie Hodges, whose encounter with police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began a virus infection in 2017 and sparked nationwide outrage, died on Sunday of complications from COVID-19.
He was 14 years old.
Honestie’s grandmother, Alisa Niemeyer, shared the news of her advancement a GoFundMe page which was set up to support Honestie’s mother and four other children while Honestie was in hospital.
“I have to tell you with an extremely heavy heart that my beautiful, cheeky, smart, loving granddaughter went home to Jesus.” Niemeyer wrote to Honestie on Sunday.
Based on The New York Times, Honestie struggled with severe stomach pains on November 9 – her 14th birthday.
That evening, Honestie was taken to the intensive care unit of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Honestie received an iron and blood transfusion in the following days, and was finally placed on a ventilator on November 14th.
Niemeyer said local NBC connected station WOOD-TV before Honestie infected COVID-19, he was “healthy” and “happy” and had no underlying health problems.
Honestie gained widespread attention after an incident on December 6, 2017, when Honestie and her mother and another family member stepped out the back door of her home when police confronted them.
“Put your hand on top,” an officer ordered, and Honestie’s mother interrupted, “11 years old, sir!”
“Stop screaming!” the officer responded based on the camera footage of the officer’s body.
The recording then showed that the officer had ordered Honestie to step back toward him with his hands raised.
A second officer pulled Honestie’s arms behind her and handcuffed her, and Honestie shouted, “No, No, No!”
Police removed the handcuffs within minutes and later claimed they were looking for a 40-year-old woman in connection with a delay, the Times writes.
Honestie, who was black, told MLive.com: “I have a question for Grand Rapids police: If it had happened to a white child, if her mother had yelled‘ 11 years old ’, you would have handcuffed and put in a police car. in the back?
At a news conference, then-Chief Police Officer David Rahinsky said, “Listening to the response of the 11-year-old, my stomach turns; physically nausea.
Although none of the officers involved in the incident were disciplined, Rahinsky said at the time that they had not violated any official guidelines, the ensuing national outrage prompted the police to implement internal changes.
In March 2018, the force established a “policy of honesty,” supporting the use of the least restrictive methods possible in dealing with the younger population.
Niemeyer told WOOD-TV that he hopes the battle against Honestie and COVID-19 is a warning of the reality of the pandemic.
“We need to take this seriously,” Niemeyer said. “I know there are people who just don’t want to be taken seriously and don’t want the government to tell them what they can and can’t do. I understand that, but at the end of the day, it’s a real, real thing. “
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control noted that while coronavirus deaths are particularly rare among children compared to the older population, Hispanic and black children are more likely than their white counterparts to be hospitalized or admitted to the ICU.