Flint parents: Charges should ‘start from the top’

Tammy Loren and Ken McCloud say their 4 sons have high lead levels in blood

flint water crisis, ken mccloud, tammy loren
Flint residents Tammy Loren, Ken McCloud and one of their sons. (April 20, 2016)

FLINT, Mich. (WOOD) — The criminal charges levied Wednesday against three people in connection to the Flint water crisis aren’t enough, say two parents whose sons were poisoned by lead — they think Gov. Rick Snyder should face charges.

Ken McCloud and Tammy Loren have four sons, all of whom they say have blood lead levels higher than what is considered acceptable.

“Skin rashes — they’ve broken out so bad where they look like they had chicken pox. They’ve got discolored skin. Bacterial infections in the stomach,” Loren listed.

The illnesses started when the boys were drinking lead-contaminated water flowing from the faucets in their home. That lead was leached from service lines that were damaged by highly corrosive Flint River water. The family also thinks the bad water also killed their dog.

They have attended congressional hearings in Washington on the water crisis, spoken to the New York Times about their experience and attended the Democratic debate held in Flint in March.

“The government’s accountable because they allowed this to happen,” Loren said.

“The trust is gone. It’s going to take a hell of a turnaround for this to happen, to gain trust,” McCloud said.

Michael Prysby, Stephen Busch, Michael Glasgow, flint water crisis, criminal charges
Left to right: Michael Prysby and Stephen Busch at their April 20, 2016 arraignments and a file image of Michael Glasgow.

Wednesday, Michigan’s attorney general announced criminal charges against two state Department of Environmental Quality workers and a Flint employee who allegedly failed to properly treat the water. The DEQ employees are also accused of tampering with water test results.

The charges aren’t enough to restore McCloud and Loren’s trust.

“No,” she said. “Because we still can’t even take a shower. We can’t drink the water out of our faucets. We’ve got such a long road ahead of us.”

McCloud and Loren want to know why the AG went after those three suspects.

“You have to go after who’s in charge. Who’s in charge: The captain’s in charge. Nothing moves unless the governor says so or gives the OK,” McCloud said. “From the bottom up, I think, is the wrong way to go about it. I think they should start from the top. Go to the head.”

That head is Gov. Snyder, he said. He thinks the state’s chief executive should be charged criminally.

“Yes, I do. Yes, I do. He knew about it. He knew exactly about this,” he stated emphatically.

“In order for any trust to be restored, you have to start from the top and everybody has to be held accountable,” Loren added.

Lead exposure in children can also cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. McCloud and Loren say it will be years before they know the full impact of the lead on their children.

“We haven’t seen the true effects of how greatly it’s going to impact them,” Loren said. “We’ve seen a lot of change in them over these past two years and it’s going to be difficult down the road.”


Inside woodtv.com:

How you can help the people of Flint

Complete coverage of the Flint water crisis


State of Michigan website on Flint water crisis

Centers for Disease Control on lead

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