Michigan Residents React to Criminal Charges Brought Against Officials in Flint Water Crisis

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About 200 residents of Flint joined in protest. Photo courtesy of AP
About 200 residents of Flint joined in protest. Photo courtesy of AP

The residents of Flint, Michigan are finally receiving some good news.

Two Michigan state officials and a Flint city administrator will be criminally charged for their roles in the Flint water crisis. The charges were announced Wednesday, and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says more charges are coming.  According to NBC News, the indictments are a mix of felonies and misdemeanors that carry up to five years behind bars.

Flint resident and mother of two, Jeneyah McDonald, said she learned of the charges that day when she stepped out of the class she was substitute teaching. In her interview with NPR, McDonald described her reaction to the charges brought against those responsible for poisoning the city.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” she said. “I feel like it’s about time, but there is absolutely a lot more that needs to be done.”

She went on to express that she wouldn’t have full faith in the state government again until charges were filed against Gov. Rick Snyder, because he his ultimately the “parent of Michigan.”

“…We are his children, the residents of Michigan,” McDonald said. “And you, as a parent, have failed your children, and you need to be responsible for us. And you need to be held accountable for us. And just because I’m one of your children that lives in the bad part of your house does not mean that I’m not an important child because Flint is — they’re saying poor — but we have no jobs. We have high crime. Because of that here in this city, I feel like enough is not being done fast enough, loud enough or soon enough.”

Per CNN.com, among those charged are Mike Glasgow, a supervisor at the Flint water treatment plant; Mike Prysby, district administrator for the Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance; and Stephen Busch, a water engineer of the Michigan DEQ.

The officials are accused of manipulating water testing results by advising residents who provided samples to pre-flush their taps, resulting in a lower reading of lead. They supposedly also altered three reports on the levels of lead in Flint between February and August 2015, according to NBC News.

Gov. Snyder and Flint’s former emergency manager, Darnell Early, are also under fire, as the water crisis unfolded on their watches. There’s no news on whether or not they will be charged. The announcement of the charges comes on the heels of Snyder vowing to drink Flint’s tap water for a month straight in order to prove it is now safe.

“Governor Snyder can hold all the photo ops he wants drinking filtered water now, but that doesn’t help the residents of Flint who were drinking poisoned, unfiltered water for more than a year,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee. “The people of Flint deserve accountability for the actions of Governor Snyder and his officials that caused this crisis.”

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