NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks today released the following statement after three individuals were charged in relation to incidents that led to the Flint water crisis:
“These latest charges are a welcome development but the investigation into this manmade disaster that has permanently damaged the well-being of thousands of residents of Flint, Michigan, particularly children, must be unrelenting. The charging of these three individuals must not signal the end of an investigation, but must be considered the beginning of an ongoing and transparent process that can only result in every single individual who played a role in the poisoning of an entire generation being held accountable.
“Governor Snyder’s pledge to drink Flint’s water for a month rings hollow to the thousands of people whose only source of water for years was tainted with deadly levels of lead. We continue to hold Governor Snyder accountable for a timeline, a deadline and price tag. The residents of Flint continue to await a date when they will know safe drinking water will flow through their pipes, and they continue to await an answer to the question of who will provide the required resources to assist their children for the rest of their lives.”
The three individuals charged are: Mike Glasgow, Flint’s laboratory and water quality supervisor; Mike Prysby, an official with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ); and Stephen Busch, a district coordinator for the DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. The charges filed include tampering with evidence, willful neglect, misconduct, evidence tampering and violations of the Safe Water Drinking Act.
In February, the NAACP formally requested that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launch civil and criminal investigations into the disastrous water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, President Brooks requested that all applicable components of the DOJ investigate potential environmental and civil rights violations to prevent future harms to Flint residents, to ensure that all possible measures are taken to remedy past harms to Flint residents, and to hold accountable those responsible for the crisis.