News & Politics

6 Flint Residents Arrested at Water Crisis Town Hall

"They were roughing people up about taking off their hats."

Photo Credit: YouTube

Six arrests for disorderly conduct at a Flint, Michigan town hall last week have been widely criticized as the city continues to battle its water crisis. 

"This is a people's movement and I don't think people are realizing that," Flint resident Abel Delgado announced at a protest following his arrest. "I'm still [in] awe just at what happened yesterday... just how oppressive the system can be."

Over 100 Flint residents showed up to Mayor Karen Weaver’s town hall Thursday and were confronted by a large police presence from the moment they walked in the door. 

"The first thing that we noticed [was] there [were] police everywhere, which is uncommon," Flint resident Melissa Mays told "Young Turks" reporter Jordan Chariton. "They had their bulletproof vests on the outside, which was extremely uncomfortable." 

The meeting was focused on the issue of using a new pipeline versus the current Detroit-area system. 

"We're supposed to be learning about our water source; why are there so many police and police officers I'd never even seen before?" Mays wondered.

"They were roughing people up about taking off their hats because it's a church, and I didn't think that the police force should be enforcing a church's guidelines," she said. 

According to Mays, community organizers appeared to be targeted by police. 

"There was a gentleman who works with us... at Flint Rising, who didn't even have a hat; he asked a question, and he got manhandled right out the door, and that was at five o'clock... a half hour before [the event] even started," Mays added. 

All six residents were released from jail the following day. 

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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