Honestie Hodges, a 14-year-old Black teen from Michigan, died of COVID-19, adding her name to the growing list of people in America taken by a deadly, preventable virus due to the current lack of presidential leadership.
Through a GoFundMe, Honestie’s family is asking for the public’s help to raise money for a proper burial.
Honestie was not only a victim of COVID-19 but she also suffered under the weight of state-sanctioned violence in 2017. That was when, at the age of 11, Grand Rapids police handcuffed her at gunpoint while searching for a suspect in a stabbing, the New York Times reported. In the video, the child can be heard sobbing and pleading while her grandmother, Alisa Niemeyer, yells for officers to acknowledge that she’s a child.
After several minutes, police removed the handcuffs once they realized they were mistaken. Incredulously, the department later found that officers did not violate policy. In 2018, the Grand Rapids Police Department developed the “Honestie Policy,” a youth-interaction that calls for fewer restrictions.
Later, Honestie spoke to MLive.com about the terrifying ordeal when officers obviously mistook her and her family members as criminal suspects.
“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?” she asked. “That’s the question I have.”
Over the summer, Honestie’s family was in mediation with city and police authorities due to the 2017 event, according to WOOD-TV.
Throughout her sickness, her family kept the faith after Honestie was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month on her birthday, Nov. 9. After initially being sent home after her diagnosis, she was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the ICU. The virus caused different challenges in her body, including fluid in her stomach, brain complications and an elevated heart rate, forcing her to be placed on a ventilator.
This past Sunday, Honestie’s grandmother updated the GoFundMe page with the news that the teen had succumbed to the virus. “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,” Niemeyer wrote.
Community members held a vigil to honor her memory earlier this week.
Her family is now struck with tragedy during a pandemic that has disproportionately ravaged Black communities. Honestie’s mother, who works on the frontline as a nurse’s aid, struggled to financially support her family after Honestie fell ill, according to the GoFundMe page. She rightfully opted to be by her daughter’s side instead of attending work, a challenge that many low-income families face at the prospect of illness.
The GoFundMe money will also go towards helping the family financially sustain, as Honestie’s mother has four other children to support.
Condolences to Honestie’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.
Prayers Up: Notable Black Folks Who Have Contracted COVID-19
1. Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist
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2. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer2 of 72
3. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 3 of 72
4. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 4 of 72
5. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 5 of 72
6. Ben Carson, former HUD SecretarySource:Getty 6 of 72
7. Cedric Ceballos, former NBA player
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On my 10th day in ICU, COVID-19 is officially kicking my but, I am asking ALL family, friends , prayer warriors healers for your prayers and well wish for my recovery.— Cedric Ceballos (@cedceballos) September 7, 2021
If I have done and anything to you in the past , allow me to publicly apologize.
My fight is not done…..
8. Dave Chappelle, comedianSource:Getty 8 of 72
9. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 9 of 72
10. Eugene Daniels, journalist
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🧵🧵So today is my 11th day since testing positive for COVID-19. And let me tell you -- it was HELL. I am fully vaccinated and it knocked me on my ass. I had chills, a scary high fever, night sweats, trouble breathing, extreme exhaustion, and the terrible cough.— Eugene Daniels (@EugeneDaniels2) September 23, 2021
11. Jacob Desvarieux, guitaristSource:Getty 11 of 72
12. Manu Dibango, musicianSource:Getty 12 of 72
13. Dennis Dickson, NYPD employee13 of 72
14. Kevin Durant, NBA starSource:Getty 14 of 72
15. Larry Edgeworth
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Prayers to the family of NBC’s Larry Edgeworth 💔🙏🏽 and my former colleagues at 30 Rock. He died after testing positive for #coronavirus. Larry would always offer to help me ...even after I moved to CBS. He just wanted to see another brother win. #IAmMyBrothersKeeper Rest 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/TyXbiHs30d— DeMarco Morgan (@DeMarcoReports) March 20, 2020
16. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 16 of 72
17. Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba
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This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
18. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 18 of 72
19. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 19 of 72
20. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 20 of 72
21. Cori "Coco" Gauff, tennis starSource:Getty 21 of 72
22. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 22 of 72
23. Rudy Gobert
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24. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 24 of 72
25. Lee Green, former college hoops star
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It is with much sadness to inform all in my SJU family that we lost Lee Green to Covid-19 today. A Parade All-American who played 3 years at #SJUBB Lee was our warrior on those teams. A true lock em up defender that relished shutting down the best opponents. RIP Lee🙏🏻 #gone2soon pic.twitter.com/X4TIPbVvoU— Ron Linfonte (@SJU5) March 24, 2020
26. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist
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27. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 27 of 72
28. Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of legendary Harlem nightclub
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Thank You for your friendship Sam! 💔#RIP💔 Harlem's Paris Blues Jazz Club has been a celebrated local music joint since 1969, playing live jazz and blues nightly. It's owner and manager, Mr. Samuel Hargress Jr., has been in the club nearly every day for the past 51 years. 💫🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/oSM9Cbzzdb— B Michael (@bmichaelAmerica) April 15, 2020
29. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 29 of 72
30. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 30 of 72
31. Mike Huckaby, techno music pioneer and DJ
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R.I.P Mike Huckaby. You will forever continue to change so many peoples lives with your music, technique and mentoring. These clips of Huck are from ‘Detroit The Blueprint Of Techno’ 💔 pic.twitter.com/8t8c83Uy2K— Dark Entries Records (@darkentriesrecs) April 25, 2020
32. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 32 of 72
33. DL Hughley, comedian33 of 72
34. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer
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BREAKING: One of Somalia’s greatest artists has died in London after contracting Corona Virus. Ahmed Ismail Hussein “Hudeydi” known as the “King of Oud” has been in hospital for four days. He was 92. pic.twitter.com/iCii8vYVVv— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) April 8, 2020
35. Jesse and Jacqueline JacksonSource:Getty 35 of 72
36. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, former White House butler
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Tonight on @fox5dc at 10p -— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancyTV) May 20, 2020
He served at the pleasure of 11 U.S. Presidents... during his 55 years at the White House.
Last weekend, he passed from COVID-19.
My exclusive interview with the granddaughter of White House butler, Wilson Jerman is next! pic.twitter.com/SBiXbQLiud
37. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, actor
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38. Paul Johnson, house music DJSource:Getty 38 of 72
39. Jim Jones, rapperSource:Getty 39 of 72
40. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 40 of 72
41. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 41 of 72
42. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 42 of 72
43. James Mahoney, pulmonologist
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Dr. James Mahoney at University Hospital of Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/SXBxNlzApr— Lieutenant Kijé (@BrianLemaire2) May 19, 2020
44. Ellis Marsalis Jr., musicianSource:Getty 44 of 72
45. DeRay McKesson, activistSource:Getty 45 of 72
46. Von Miller, NFL starSource:Getty 46 of 72
47. Nicki MinajSource:Getty 47 of 72
48. Donovan Mitchell48 of 72
49. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 49 of 72
50. Lloyd Porter, small business owner in Brooklyn
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Devastated to hear Lloyd Porter has pass away from covid19. Lloyd was a pillar in Brooklyn. His coffee shop Breadstuy is where I met some of my closest friends. He sometimes hired people with records that couldn't easily find work. He believed in community. Rest well Brother— Blitz Bazawule (@BlitzAmbassador) May 7, 2020
51. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 51 of 72
52. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 52 of 72
53. Arnie Robinson Jr., Olympian
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Arnie Robinson Jr., who won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, died on Dec. 2 at his home in San Diego. He was 72. https://t.co/lYnpSbWkzO— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) December 16, 2020
54. Chris Rock, actor and comedianSource:Getty 54 of 72
55. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 55 of 72
56. Marcus Smart56 of 72
57. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 57 of 72
58. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 58 of 72
59. Sage SteeleSource:Getty 59 of 72
60. Oliver "DJ Black N Mild" Stokes Jr.
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New Orleans bounce DJ and radio personality Black N Mild has died after testing positive for coronavirus. For the past 25 years, he also deejayed at countless clubs, parties and other private events across the southeast. pic.twitter.com/2e6mnKhiXQ— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) March 21, 2020
61. Michael Strahan, 'Good Morning America' host, former NFL starSource:Getty 61 of 72
62. Carole Sutton, actressSource:Getty 62 of 72
63. Chucky Thompson, music producer, 53Source:Getty 63 of 72
64. Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes64 of 72
65. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coachSource:Getty 65 of 72
66. Karl-Anthony Towns, NBA starSource:Getty 66 of 72
67. Jo Thompson, singerSource:Getty 67 of 72
68. Karl-Anthony Towns' parents, Jacqueline Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns Sr.68 of 72
69. Juan Williams, Fox News HostSource:Getty 69 of 72
70. Wendy Williams, talk show hostSource:Getty 70 of 72
71. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, AlabamaSource:Getty 71 of 72
72. Zumbi, rapperSource:Getty 72 of 72
How The System Failed Honestie Hodges, A 14-Year Old Victim Of COVID-19 And Police Violence was originally published on newsone.com