Some Flint residents impacted by months of lead-tainted water are looking past expected charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in his administration to healing physical and emotional damages left by the crisis.
Corrosive water from the Flint River that caused lead to leach from pipes is blamed with causing learning disabilities in scores of children and other medical problems among adults in the majority Black city.
Leon Abdullah El-Alamin's son, now 7, has suffered hair loss and skin rashes due to the contaminated water.
"He's still a child, so he doesn't fully understand it right now, but me as a parent, I'm very upset. I'm very frustrated at times," El-Alamin said Wednesday.
Seven years after the water was first switched, Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they're being charged in a crisis that has been highlighted as an example of environmental injustice and racism. Two people with knowledge of the planned prosecution told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the attorney general's office has informed defense lawyers about indictments in Flint and told them to expect initial court appearances soon. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Prosecutors have scheduled a news conference for Thursday.
Melissa Mays, a fellow Flint resident, says Snyder and other officials should be held accountable.
"It seems like we have been forgotten. And nobody's sitting in jail. If I poisoned you, I would be in jail," said Mays, a social worker and activist who sued the state on behalf of her three sons who were exposed to lead.
"We're coming up on seven years of being in a prison where we can't even be safe in our own homes," she said. "And then, of course, under COVID, we've all been locked indoors and we're stuck using this water."