Environment

The FBI is Now Investigating the Poisoning of Flint

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has opened an investigation of the Flint water crisis where an as yet unknown number of people have been poisoned by state officials who told them their water was safe to drink.

Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, told the Free Press Monday that federal prosecutors are “working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, EPA's Office of Inspector General, and EPA's Criminal Investigation Division." [...]

Jill Washburn, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Detroit, confirmed Tuesday the FBI is involved in the investigation but would not say when that involvement began. "Our role is to determine whether or not there have been federal violations," Washburn said.

The Detroit Free Press speculates that the FBI's involvement may prompt some witnesses to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify before Congress during hearing schedule for this week.

I have strong doubts that Governor Rick Snyder will ever be held accountable, but someone should be. It seems abundantly clear that state officials were well aware of the problem given that they shipped clean water to state employees over a year ago, but local residents were not advised to stop using their water until just recently. Officials did not even take steps to provide locals with water filters or bottled water until recently.

Emails obtained by various sources have revealed that the Snyder administration severely downplayed the threat posed to children.

Emails released by the office of Gov. Rick Snyder last week referred to a resident who said she was told by a state nurse in January 2015, regarding her son’s elevated blood lead level, “It is just a few IQ points. ... It is not the end of the world.

  • Badgerite

    Now there are some emails worth investigating.

  • muselet

    State officials knew full well they were poisoning 100,000 people and simply didn’t care; it’s up to the federal government to show that someone at some level of government does care about them. State officials clearly do care about something, but it’s not ordinary citizens:

    A task force appointed by Snyder also is investigating, as is Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who on Jan. 25 appointed former Wayne County assistant prosecutor Todd Flood and former Detroit FBI director Andrew Arena to lead the investigation by his office.

    [link omitted]

    Golly gee, what do you suppose that investigation will conclude?

    –alopecia

  • Holy crap that last quote. I just can’t wrap my head around an effing nurse saying such a thing. I can’t understand why someone in the state government didn’t have a conscience about this. Not one single, solitary person at the State Level gave a shit? That’s just depressing. I need a drink now.

    • JMAshby

      Racism is a hell of a drug. See also: total apathy toward the poor.

      Flint is almost 60% black, 37% white.