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Flint residents not surprised, disappointed by charges against former governor Rick Snyder

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:49 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -(01/14/21)-”He used to say, the buck stops with me. Well, that’s true. So why isn’t the responsibility landing on you and I mean he was taking you know, lots of accolades for what seems to be good things that the emergency manager law, but absolutely running away from all the things that went terribly wrong” said Flint activist, Melissa Mays.

At the top that list for Melissa Mays, the switch from the Detroit river to the Flint River as the city’s water source--Leading to the poisoning of Flint’s water and it’s residents 6 years ago.

“Once Schuette was no longer blocking or interfering charges against Snyder. Once we have a new Attorney General but then you know a year and a half ago when everything got thrown in the trash and it became radio silence we just all came to the conclusion that I guess there would be nothing done to this man,” Mays said

But Thursday-- Former Governor Rick Snyder was charged for his role in something that has forever changed the Vehicle City.

Charges Mays says is an insult to residents.

“The fact that he’s getting hit with a misdemeanor. $1,000 fine I was like that’s like one cent one single penny per person. He poisoned that’s pretty amazing. And the fact is that if it was your eye that poison one person. I’m fairly certain we would be in jail and not having to pay. $1,000, so it’s a travesty of justice,” Mays said.

”I can only assume that there was not enough to charge him with manslaughter because I could not imagine him being slapped on the wrist with a misdemeanor, but I do like the fact that he was charged because under Schuette, he wasn’t charged at all,” said Flint resident, Lela McGee.

It’s a day that Lela McGee never thought would arrive-- one that had former Governor Rick Snyder being held accountable for his alleged role in the poisoning of an entire city- But McGee says it’s a only partial victory.

“I would like to see all the other people who participated. Governor Snyder did not kick our back doors. This was was a three tier. This was egregious contracts forged. There were lies and there was manipulation of money. So I’m not going to tell you all of those names,” McGee said.

McGee says the scars of the Flint water crisis continue to run deep for her and thousands of others-- both physically and financially.

“For myself, it’s a two fold, because not only were we affected physically regarding the water damage in our body, you know hair coming out, people having thyroid issues, skin rashes, fighting to lift our voices media blackout, initially, so for me it’s a twofold because my business was damaged as well. I developed homes in the city of slides. So, my business will destroyed behind that water switch because they’ll probably develop the brand is just, it was just a very sad occasion,” McGee said.

McGee doesn’t know if the city and it’s residents will be able to completely move past what happened to them until justice is truly served.

“This was a man-made catastrophe, at the expense of impoverished white folk impoverished African Americans. And so, everybody is held accountable, there will always be a void,” McGee said.

Mays hopes when this all said and done-- she hopes all those responsible will truly be held accountable.

“We need to see people sitting in jail, we need it to be known that it is a crime to poison Flint residents that you have no matter how, you know, rich white politician whatever your job title is, it does not allow you to poison poor black and brown bodies and just walk away,” Mays said.

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