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Residents in Flint are reacting to Roland Martin’s exclusive interview with Darnell Earley, the former Emergency Manager who discussed the origins of the Flint water crisis and declined to blame anyone or accept full responsibility for conditions in the devastated American city.

In response to Earley’s remarks, resident LeeAnne Walters told Martin, “A lot of it was lies and him just trying to cover himself.”

Walters countered Earley’s narrative of the water crisis, saying, “Detroit Water came forward April 15, 2013 with a contract for the City of Flint that would have saved them $800 million over the course of 30 years, compared to the KWA [contract]; that is not what we heard from him today.”

“Detroit was willing to make it worth our while to stay with Detroit [Water and Sewerage Department] and none of this would have happened,” Walters said. She still holds Earley responsible for the crisis.

Rochelle Riley, columnist for the Detroit Free Press said, “They didn’t have to use the Flint River for that interim term until the new water authority was made ready.”

Riley also highlighted Earley shifting blame for the water crisis, saying, “Every single time you ask him about conversations between Flint and the state on this rising water problem, what you get is a lot of people were responsible — it was a lot of people’s fault.”

She later added, “How many people in the governor’s office have to know about this before the Governor knew, and why is it that he didn’t declare a state of emergency when people came to public meetings holding brown water?”

When the issue with lead leaching from the water pipes in Flint, MI was discovered in March of 2015, “Nobody ever went back and said, ‘Who is responsible for making sure the additives were added” to the water from the Flint River.”

“That’s on him,” Riley said.

Watch Roland Martin, Rochelle Riley, Flint, Michigan residents LeeAnne Walters, and Debra Lester discuss Darnell Earley’s remarks in the video clip above.

TV One’s Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes. 


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