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Michigan police refuse to answer why they arrested an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint

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Honestie Hodges, held at gunpoint by Grand Rapids police

It’s hard to imagine what threat an 11-year-old girl could possibly pose to a dozen armed police officers. One would have to ask the officers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who last week handcuffed an elementary schooler at gunpoint, placed her under arrest and took her from her mother and home for seemingly no reason.

The arrest has sparked local outrage. Police were in the neighborhood looking for the girl’s aunt, Carrie Manning, who allegedly stabbed her younger sister at a house nearby and was believed to be armed with a knife. As WOOD-TV reported, Manning is a 40-year-old white woman. Honestie Hodges is an 11-year-old black girl.

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Police were supposed to be looking for Carrie Manning, above. (Photo: WOOD-TV screen capture)

Honestie’s mother, Whitney Hodges, said she tried to explain to the police that Honestie had done nothing wrong.

“The whole time they are telling her to come down, I’m telling them she’s 11 years old, that’s my daughter, don’t cuff her,” Hodges told WOOD-TV.

“It made me feel scared and it made me feel like I did something wrong,” Honestie said.

According to the Sentencing Project, youth arrests have declined over the past decade, but African-American kids are still arrested at a higher rate than white kids. In fact, the disparity between the two groups has actually grown in recent years to 24 percent.

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In April, Grand Rapids police were criticized by the community after they pulled their guns and arrested five unarmed black boys aged 12-14 who were playing basketball at a park. The boys were later released to their parents.

Ironically, Honestie formerly aspired to become a police officer. “I wanted to be a detective or police officer, but now I don’t want anything to do with those kind of things,” Honestie said. “I’m just wondering why they did that to me.”

The Grand Rapids Police Department said an internal investigation is underway, but made no further comment or apology.

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Russia went looking for puppets in America — and they found Trump and the Republicans

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The Russians wasted decades infiltrating the left attempting to gain purchase in American political life. There was the Communist Party USA, of course. Established in 1919, the CPUSA grew through the 1930s and boasted a membership of about 100,000 at the beginning of World War II. A hundred thousand! Whoop-de-doo!

This article first appeared in Salon

Then there were the spinoff lefty parties like the Socialist Workers Party, the Progressive Labor Party, the Workers World Party, the Socialist Labor Party, the Progressive Labor Party — we could go on listing one splinter group after another with “socialist” or “labor” or “workers” in its title. They were tiny groups with memberships that were sometimes less than 100, and they would all deny being infiltrated by the Russkies, naturally. So would the “New Left” groups that came later, like SDS and The Weathermen. Nobody wanted to admit they were under Russian influence. Everything they were doing, from opposing the war in Vietnam to civil rights to fighting for free speech, was being done for completely pure reasons.

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2020 Election

William Barr made it clear this week that he’d sign off on a sham investigation into the Dems’ 2020 nominee

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

A perfect storm propelled New York's sleaziest real estate developer to an Electoral College victory in 2016 despite winning three million fewer votes than his opponent, but Nate Silver made a compelling argument that the letter James Comey sent to Congress just 11 days before Election Day announcing that the FBI was re-opening its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails was decisive.

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Bill Barr is serving notice to DOJ officials that he’ll ruin them if they investigate Trump: MSNBC host

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An MSNBC discussion about Bill Barr running interference within the Justice Department for Donald Trump ended with "AM Joy" host Joy Reid suggesting that the attorney general's very public "media blitz" over the so-called "Horowitz Report" is a warning shot to anyone in the DOJ who thinks about investigating the president.

As Reid explained it, "He did a whole TV blitz to basically say that his own agency, the FBI, was spying on the Trump campaign, something that the inspector general said did not happen."

Reid took that to its logical conclusion.

"Now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’ve got a different report that’s going to find the motivations’ that he’s basically saying are bad motivations by people in the FBI.  And if you’re that FBI agent and then you hear that Donald Trump may be again looking for foreign help and maybe again getting help from Russia or forcing help from Ukraine, what do you do?" she asked. "Would you then not be concerned that, should you go ahead and investigate foreign interference in our election, that William Barr may come after you?"

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