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Rest in peace, young queen…

Honestie Hodges

Source: Family/GoFundMe / Hodges Family/GoFundMe

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the Black community not only in regards to positives cases but also deaths. The Guardian noted a heartbreaking stat from the CDC that obliterates the idea that only older folks are susceptible to losing their lives to this growing pandemic:

“Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native youth constitute only 41% of the under-21 US population but comprise about 75% of all pediatric Covid-19 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control”

Sadly, one of the people who have joined this morbid statistic is 14-year-old Honestie Hodges. While her name might not jump out at you, Honestie most likely entered your consciousness back in 2017 when BOSSIP reported on an infuriating viral video that showed the then 11-year-old was handcuffed and held at gunpoint by police officers in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The incident occured when Honestie and her mother had stepped out of the back door of their home to go to the store. Immediately they were confronted by police who had their guns drawn. When the young girl pled with law enforcement to put their guns down, one of the officers forcefully handcuffed Hodges at gunpoint. She was only 11-years-old at the time of the incident.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Honestie tested positive with Covid-19 on her birthday in November and passed away this past Sunday. The 14-year-old’s condition had become increasingly worse over time. Honestie had to receive a number of blood transfusions and eventually a ventilator before her tragic passing. It’s beyond sad that because of the pathetic response from the federal government, Donald Trump specifically, Honestie was robbed of her youth, adulthood, and golden years. Moreover, her family has to run a GoFundMe in order to have the money necessary to pay for her funeral and subsequent expenses.

Following her horrifying experience with the Grand Rapids police department in 2017, Honestie posed a very important question. “I have a question for the Grand Rapids police: If this happened to a white child if her mother was screaming, ‘She’s 11,’ would you have handcuffed her and put her in the back of a police car?” Hodges said in a quote with Mlive.com, a Michigan news site.

We know the answer.. probably not.

In 2018 the Michigan police department created the “Honestie Policy,” which called for using less restrictive and alternative options for law enforcement approaching youth, but this only addresses a small part of a larger problem that continues to plague black and brown folks in America.

Where’s the justice?

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