Flint Michigan, poisoned water and other tales

"Jacktown," Detroits most luxurious suburb
“Jacktown,” Detroit’s most luxurious suburb

[ Note: The story below in Russia Today hit me.  A good friend of mine, Danny “Lucky” Staggs did time in the hellish Genesee County Jail, last time in 1978.  Staggs, a sniper with 3rd Bn., 26th Marines (I was with 1st Bn) is probably or was as he is currently dead, the most decorated soldier from the Vietnam War.

I knew him as “block painter” on 4 Block, part of “close custody” Central Complex of SPSM, the largest walled prison in the world. Four block was home, at that time back in the 70s, to over 100 Marines, part of its 476 member contingent.  Staggs, head of the prison’s massive “Aryan Brotherhood,’ a social club specializing in tattoos and weightlifting, was a great poker player, brilliant conversationalist and capable of escaping from anything.

One of his favorite stories was his escape from the Flint facility.  What the second story below leaves out is that Staggs, after escaping, robbed a filling station in Flushing, Michigan killing those who worked there. He could be bad like that, a typical Vietnam vet, raging PTSD and, despite his 130 pound frame, quite difficult.

His counterpart at the time, representing “the Brothers,” was Andrew “Andre Love” Carter, convicted, quite wrongly I believe, based on coerced false testimony, of a 1969 murder.

Staggs and Carter were fast friends though both died in prison, Staggs murdered by a serial killer and Carter of a heart condition.  Both were great leaders, brilliant people and very good friends of each other and me as well. Anyone who remembers them, and plenty of veterans did time in “Jacktown” during the 70s and 80s, please chime in...Gordon ]


Officials Lied to Flint Inmates, Forced Them to Drink Poisoned Tap Water

While the residents of Flint, Michigan were kept in the dark about the poisonous tap water in their city, one group was kept in the dark even longer: the inmates at Genesee County Jail.

Introduction:  A generation of children in Flint, Michigan, many of them black or poor white and Hispanic, though not all by any means, were poised by levels of lead considered unimaginable unless, of course, you are a Tea Party governor with “whites only” voters behind you.

A public health emergency was declared in Flint in October, and a state of emergency was declared in December, over the tap water in the area being tainted with levels of lead high enough in some households to be declared “toxic waste” by the EPA. However, according to a report obtained by Democracy Now!, the area jail lied to inmates about the quality of their water.

Those kept in the jail — including pregnant women — were forced to drink and bathe in the contaminated water, as well as eat food cooked with it. They were not provided bottled water until January 23.

According to Jody Cramer, an inmate who was tasked with handing out the water to his peers, inmates received only two 12-ounce bottles of water, twice a day — 48 ounces total. It is recommended by the Institute of Medicine that men drink 100 ounces of water a day, while women need 73 ounces.

Cramer also told Democracy Now! that deputies were going around pretending to be passing out water filtration systems, but actually were actually serving warrants. “Here’s your water filtration system. By the way, you have a warrant for your arrest,” Cramer said.

Flint’s water poisoning began in April 2014, when the city stopped receiving its supply from Detroit, instead shifting to water taken directly from the Flint River, a source known to have a high corrosive salt content. Corrosive salts in the water damaged the pipes, which contain lead, causing that material to be released into the water, and contaminating it.

In October, the state changed the city’s drinking water source back from the polluted Flint River to the Detroit water system, but warned that the water is still not safe.

It has been revealed that many officials, including several in the US Environmental Protection Agency, knew the water was poisoned as early as April 2015, but took no action, and failed to warn the community.

The FBI has joined the US Postal Inspection Service, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General, and the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, into the wide-ranging criminal probe of the Flint water crisis, to determine which laws were broken and who broke them in the poisoning of the city.

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — An Adrian man confessed Wednesday to the 1986 prison stabbing death of Daniel A. Staggs — a Vietnam war hero from Genesee County who was serving a life sentence for armed robbery, according to news reports.Anthony Guy Walker, 53, also pleaded guilty to several other crimes, The Daily Telegram reports.

He shared a Jackson prison cell with Staggs, who after the war was awarded three Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and eight Purple Hearts, according to Flint Journal files. Staggs, formerly of Burton, was convicted in 1978 of robbing a Clayton Township motel. It was his fourth such conviction.
At his trial on the robbery charges, Staggs testified his war experiences rendered him mentally ill.
Staggs also once testified he escaped from jail a dozen times, including a flight from the Genesee County Jail in 1978, when he stole a guard’s pants and fled with another inmate.


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