WATCH: GRPD Union President Responds to Video of Handcuffing of 11-Year-Old and Chief’s Comments

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The fallout continues after an 11-year-old girl was handcuffed and held at gunpoint earlier this month by Grand Rapids Police officers during a search for a stabbing suspect.

The Grand Rapids Police Union president spoke to FOX 17 about the issue, after Police Chief David Rahinsky called the incident “nauseating” and said changes need to be made within the department.

Union president Andy Bingel represents the nearly 250 officers that work for the department. He says the officers are in disbelief over how the situation has been handled and adds that “unrepairable damage” has been done between Chief Rahinsky and his officers.

The story has gained national attention. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Chief Rahinsky released a short clip of body camera footage showing 11-year-old Honestie Hodges held at gunpoint and placed in handcuffs during a search for a suspect on Dec. 6.

“I was in disbelief,” said Bingel. “I’m speaking on behalf of the members, because we are all in disbelief.”

Bingel says it was the chief’s statements in that press conference that struck a nerve.

“What you will see on the body worn camera is the juvenile was treated the same way we would’ve treated any adult,” said Rahinsky. “When you’re dealing with an 11-year-old, it’s inappropriate.”

“I don’t know why he made those comments the way he made them,” said Bingel. “I really don’t, and it’s really baffling for all the membership.”

Bingel says the chief did not speak to the officers involved in the incident before that press conference.

“I think the chief should’ve taken a step back and talked to his command staff,” said Bingel. “He’s surrounded by a lot of great command, experienced command ,and he really didn’t seek much input. I think there’s been a lot of damage done, and I don’t think he acted quick enough to restore that.”

Some officers in the union believe “unrepairable damage” has been made. “That’s accurate,” said Bingel. “But you never want to give up hope, right?”

Bingel has 27 years in law enforcement on his resume and says the officers on scene that night were following protocol. He says that original video clip shown gives an incomplete picture of what really happened.

“They were furious that only a small portion was shown without the interaction they had with Honestie after the fact and how they talked to the mom and how they explained things to her,” said Bingel. “When you guys first saw it, they show Honestie being put in handcuffs, screaming, and then that’s it. That leaves only the imagination to wonder what happened next.”

Bingel agrees with Chief Rahinsky that changes need to be made, but for a different reason.

“I think communication is the number one change that needs to be improved upon,” said Bingel. “We need better communication with our commissioners, with our mayor, and with the community. We just need to remember that we’ve got a job to do, and we can’t let this distraction take away from serving the citizens. I don’t expect people outside of law enforcement to understand everything we do. As hard as they might try to understand, they’re not going to, and I think we need to realize that.”

While Bingel says many of the officers in the union feel that enough damage has been made, he is open to meeting with the chief to restore those bonds. He also says there’s a huge disconnect between the police department and city hall and wants to restore communication with them as well as the community.

Chief Rahinsky says there is still another 100 minutes of body camera footage to review. Their internal investigation should be completed in the next few days.

That stabbing suspect was eventually found and arrested at another home near that scene.


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Filming Cops

  • If a cop treats an 11 year old like an adult the cunt deserves a bullet between the eyes.

  • Doesn’t matter a whit what happened after, period. Chief called out shitty policing, good on him. It’s time to abolish police unions, they stand between police and accountability in this country.

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Cop Gets Off With Boating Violation for Handcuffing College Kid and Watching Him Drown


Versailles, MO — Nearly two years after Trooper Anthony Piercy was charged in the death of Brandon Ellingson, who drowned in the Lake of the Ozarks with his hands cuffed behind his back, the case has been closed. Predictably, the offending officer is getting off with less than a slap on the wrist.

For handcuffing a college student, negligently casting him into a lake, and watching as he drowned, Trooper Piercy pleaded guilty to a simple boating violation.

On May 31, 2014. Trooper Piercy arrested Ellingson under suspicion of OWI and negligently placed the wrong life jacket over the handcuffed 20-year-old’s torso. Piercy then drove his patrol boat away from the scene at a high rate of speed. Ellingson was thrown from the craft when it struck a sizeable wake, the life jacket came off, and he drowned with his hands still in cuffs while Piercy callously watched on.

“He’s an evil person,” Ellingson’s father Craig told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “The reason we decided to go to the plea deal was it was tainted down there,” in Morgan County, Missouri’s court system.

During the investigation, it was determined that Piercy did little to nothing as he watched Ellingson drown.

As the Beast reports:

Piercy did not jump in to save him.

When a bachelorette party passed on a nearby boat, the passengers threw Ellingson a life ring “but they didn’t know my son was handcuffed,” Craig said. “Piercy didn’t say he was handcuffed.”

The women told investigators that they screamed at Piercy to extend a pole to Ellingson, which he did “but he knew he was handcuffed,” Craig said.

Piercy did not call a supervisor for help until an hour after Ellingson drowned. Footage from his boat shows Piercy having a chillingly casual conversation with his colleague, referring to Ellingson in profane terms.

“I’m banged up a little bit, but I’m alright. I don’t know if I’m sore from treading water with the bastard,” Piercy told a supervisor of the dead 20-year-old.

As The Free Thought Project previously reported, following the familiar full-court press to prevent officer accountability, the jury in a Coroner’s Inquest ruled Ellingson’s death to be accidental. It was subsequently revealed that Amanda Grellner, the prosecutor who declined to file charges against Piercy, had received a personal favor from the MHP three years earlier when the department declined to charge her then-18-year-old son with DUI.

Last September, a circuit court judge found that the state had “knowingly and purposefully” covered up the crimes of Piercy, violating the state’s Sunshine Law in the act.

After seeing that they were getting zero help from the perpetrator and his subsequent conspirators, the family of Ellingson launched a campaign for justice. During this campaign, they were joined by Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant, Randy Henry.

Henry witnessed first hand, the incompetence, negligence, and cover-up and took to exposing it.

“We killed Brandon Ellingson,” Henry bluntly told the Lake Expo newspaper, following it with the question of “Why are we investigating ourselves?”

In a conversation with Piercy the day following Ellingson’s death, Henry expressed concerns about how the arresting officer had conducted himself. Piercy himself seemed remorseful, telling Henry,

“I feel like I drowned that kid…. I should have done more for him.”

In any other context, that comment would be treated as a confession to second-degree murder.

Henry then filed a report on the drowning and testified about the inadequate training Piercy and other water patrol officers received.

During an interview with patrol investigators following the drowning, Henry mentioned a state law dealing with the safety of people in custody and how the police are responsible for the lives of those they detain. An investigator interrupted Henry and insisted that the recorder be turned off, to deliberately prevent an official record of his disclosures.

The stiff arm of blue justice moved in and now we are seeing the results.

Instead of Piercy being held accountable for his negligence, it was Henry who was then run through the gamut of the thin blue line. He was cast out by his department, demoted to corporal, and forced to retire.


Now, the man responsible for the death of a star college student is facing a maximum of a $500 fine and six months in jail. However, the chances of the officer spending any time behind bars are slim to none.

In fact, Piercy has already planned ahead if he gets sentenced to even a single day in jail. As the Beast reports, Piercy’s lawyer asked that Piercy be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, should he be sentenced to more than probation. But after three years of fighting his son’s case, Craig said the closest thing to justice will be the opportunity to address Piercy during the sentencing.

“It was probably the best alternative, rather than have him walk free. This way we can sit in front of him and say what we want,” Craig said. “I’m a Christian. Ultimately, my belief is he’ll be judged by God.”


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