(Newswire.net -- January 9, 2016) -- Flint, Michigan – About 200 people protested on Friday, outside Flint City hall, demanding Michigan governor face criminal charges after information leaked that highest officials allegedly knew Michigan's tap water had been contaminated for 6 months before official emergency was declared.
Internal emails, obtained by NBC News, allegedly show that high-ranking officials close to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder actually knew about the elevated lead levels in Flint’s water, however didn’t react for months.
While some critics call for Micihigan governor’s resignation, others, like filmmaker Michael Moore, demand Governor Snyder to be charged with criminal charges.
Moore has even started a petition on his website, calling for the governor to be arrested on charges of corruption and assault.
"The facts are all there, Mr. Snyder. Every agency involved in this scheme reported directly to you. The children of Flint didn't have a choice as to whether or not they were going to get to drink clean water," Moore directly addresses Snyder on his website.
Flint residents are scared about the potential health impact of six months consuming water highly saturated with lead. Numerous studies, shared over social networks, are connecting lead contaminated water with the risk of brain damage in children.
"We haven't seen the worst yet, with these children coming up," one of protesters, a retired General Motors worker Sharon Owensby, told the Detroit Free Press.
On Tuesday, Michigan governor Snyder declared a state of emergency over tap water contamination with lead. He declared the same less than a month ago, saying Flint’s water was causing elevated levels of lead in children.
The city switched the water supply back to Detroit in October, and began treating the pipes; however, “a manmade disaster” as Flint’s mayor Karen Weaver calls it, occurred long before that. Now, Flint residents demand Governor Snyder’s full responsibility, because he didn’t react in time after he learned that Flint’s tap water had been contaminated.
According to Weaver, the costs for treating and repairing Flint’s water distribution system will likely be $1.5 billion, which some protesters believe was the possible reason why Governor Snyder hesitated with action. Meanwhile, Flint’s residents are advised not to drink the tap water.