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Honestie Hodges quietly complied when a police officer told her to put her hands above her head, turn around, and walk backward toward him.
The then-11-year-old Black girl, along with her mother and aunt, was being held at gun point outside her home by officers from the Grand Rapids Police Department in Michigan who were looking for a 40-year-old stabbing suspect in December 2017.
But as they began handcuffing her, the young girl cried and pleaded with them. "No, no, no!" she wailed, as her mother, Whitney Hodges, shouted that her daughter was only 11 years old. Honestie was handcuffed for a few minutes, patted down for weapons, and held in the police cruiser for 10 minutes before being released, Time reported. Police officers later found the suspect at another house.
The incident, captured on body camera video, prompted outrage in Michigan and forced the police department to implement changes in the way it interacted with youth. They dubbed it the "Honestie Policy."
On Nov. 22, Honestie died of COVID-19, more than two weeks after being hospitalized on her birthday, her family said on a fundraising page.
She had just turned 14.
Honestie was taken to the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital on Nov. 9, where she tested positive for COVID-19 and was sent home, Niemeyer wrote. Later that evening, she was rushed back to the hospital and moved to the ICU after her condition worsened.
In subsequent days, the teen was put on a ventilator and was given iron and blood transfusions, her grandmother wrote in updates on the family's fundraising page.
"She is not doing well at all please, please, please pray like you’ve never prayed before!!!" Niemeyer wrote in a post last week. "The Dr’s are telling us that they don’t know if she’s going to make it or not."
Four days later, her family said that Honestie had succumbed to the deadly virus, which has killed more than 260,000 Americans
"She was one of a kind and I am honored that I was chosen to be her mother," Whitney Hodges wrote in a Facebook post. "Thank you for 14 of the best years of my life poohty I love you ma."
"We’ve got to take this seriously,” Niemeyer told News 8. “I know there are people out there that just don’t want to take it seriously and they don’t want the government telling them what they can and can’t do. I do understand that, but at the end of the day this is real, real thing