GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The Grand Rapids Police Department said in a press conference that a recent incident in which officers pointed their guns at at 11-year-old girl was handled inappropriately.
On Dec. 6, the officers were investigating a stabbing on Hamilton Avenue. They were attempting to locate the suspect, which led them to another house on the Westside of Grand Rapids.
As they set up a perimeter around that house, two women and the 11-year-old girl walked out of the house. Police initially pointed their guns at all three individuals, then they were all handcuffed, searched and released a short time later.
At the press conference, the GRPD released about 40 seconds of body cam footage of the incident.
The footage may be disturbing to some readers. It shows the 11-year-old girl screaming, "No, please" as officers place handcuffs on her. One officer can be heard saying, "You're fine. You're not going to jail or anything."
The girl's mother can be heard screaming, "That's my child."
"Listening to the 11-year-old's response make my stomach turn," said Police Chief David Rahinsky. "It makes me physically nauseous."
Rahinsky said his biggest problem with the situation is that the 11-year-old should not have been treated like an adult by GRPD officers.
"In this situation, I don't think we acted accordingly," said Rahinsky. "I think that discretion did not rule the day, and it's a discredit to the way the community is being served."
Rahinsky said that on the body cam footage, it can be seen that the 11-year-old was treated the same way as an adult. "When you are dealing with an 11-year-old, it's inappropriate. So as an agency, we got to have some tough conversations."
The GRPD opened an internal investigation, which is looking at how this incident was handled by officers. The investigation is ongoing.
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