The search for justice for victims of the Flint water crisis is heating up this week after investigators announced that they are weighing criminal charges while a new lawsuit, filed on behalf of a poisoned child, implicates those officials at the very top.
During a press conference in Lansing on Tuesday, attorney Todd Flood, a former Wayne County assistant prosecutor who was tapped by the Michigan attorney general to lead the investigation, said they are considering charges including “gross negligence, involuntary manslaughter, and misconduct in office” against those responsible for the lead-tainted water.
Flood explained that even in the case where someone made an “honest mistake,” that individual could still be charged with breaking civil or criminal laws if they turned a “blind eye” on the problem, rather than work to protect potential victims, the Detroit Free Press reports.
In fact, a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court accuses Michigan’s top officials, including Governor Rick Snyder and former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley, of “failing to act” despite knowledge of the dangerously high lead levels in the city’s water supply.
Flint resident Luke Waid filed the suit after learning that his two-year-old daughter is one of the thousands of children now suffering from lead poisoning after the city, under the control of the state-appointed emergency manager, switched its water source to the Flint River as a temporary cost-cutting measure.
Waid told the Free Press that his children “don’t have a voice of their own so I have to be their voice. I have to stand behind my children. If I didn’t feel so betrayed, I wouldn’t have brought it this far.” According to the suit, daughter Sophia “has experienced serious physical and emotional issues due to the contaminated water, including skin rashes, digestive problems, infections, excessive crying and irritability and the inability to sleep at night.”
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