GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Hours after a Tuesday press conference about police handcuffing and detaining an 11-year-old girl, people showed up at the Grand Rapids City Commission meeting to make their voices heard about the incident.
Much of the public comment during Tuesday's meeting focused on the Dec. 6 incident. Honestie Hodges, 11, was handcuffed and detained while police searched for a stabbing suspect.
Many of the people in the crowd at the city commission meeting say they are saddened by what they saw on the video of the incident. Hodges' grandmother Elisia Neumyer was one of the people who spoke during the meeting.
"On December 6th, my 11-year-old granddaughter was involved in an unfortunate incident with the Grand Rapids police department," Neumyer said. "I’m speaking this evening because we must repair relationships between our community and the Grand Rapids Police Department. Unfortunately my granddaughter has lost her innocence because of this incident and that is unacceptable."
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss spoke with Fox 17 after the city commission meeting saying this incident affirms there is more work to be done.
"This incident is deeply disturbing," said Bliss. "Watching that video was really heartbreaking. Seeing this little girl who was honestly terrified was painful. It was painful and that's what we heard tonight with the public coming forward."
Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said during a press conference earlier Monday that the police video of the incident was hard to watch.
"The juvenile was treated the same way we would have treated any adult, and when you’re dealing with an 11-year-old, it’s inappropriate," Rahinsky said. "The screams of the 11-year-old, they go to your heart, you hear the mother yelling from the steps ‘that’s my child,' and that’s our community’s child. That’s someone who lives in Grand Rapids, that’s somebody who should feel safe running to an officer."
Mayor Bliss responded to Chief Rahinsky's statement, saying this solidifies their relationship with the police department.
"I appreciate the Chief's leadership and I really appreciate that he responded quickly and started an investigation," said Bliss. "He has acknowledged that it is a problem and things need to change. We will be working in partnership with the police department, but also with the community."
Honestie said she, her mother Whitney Hodges, and one of her aunts were leaving their home the night of Dec. 6 when they unexpectedly encountered officers in the middle of a search.
Police were searching the area for an armed stabbing suspect, 41-year-old Carrie Sue Manning, who they thought may have been in the home. The suspect was eventually found in a home nearby and taken into custody.