Back in the United States, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and eight other former officials were charged Thursday in a sweeping criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis. Snyder faces two charges of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor. Snyder’s former health director, Nick Lyon, faces nine felony counts of involuntary manslaughter. In 2014, Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by then-Governor Snyder, switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. The move has been linked to at least 12 deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease and widespread lead poisoning in residents, including children, in the majority-Black city. Michigan’s solicitor general, Fadwa Hammoud, spoke Thursday.
Fadwa Hammoud: “At this very moment, the people of Flint continue to suffer from the categorical failure of public officials at all levels of government who trampled upon their trust and evaded accountability for far too long. … There are no velvet ropes in our criminal justice system. Nobody, no matter how powerful or well connected, is above accountability when they commit a crime.”