CLEVELAND — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette addressed the Republican National Convention Monday afternoon, where he spoke about the ongoing Flint water crisis, among broader issues.

The Flint water crisis — which refers to levels of lead found in the city’s water following a switch from Detroit to Flint River water in 2014 — made national headlines in the early months of 2016 after Hillary Clinton mentioned the issue during the January Democratic debate. The city stayed in the spotlight for several months, culminating in a visit from President Barack Obama, in which he reaffirmed federal support for the city, in early May. However, national attention since has largely faded from Flint, despite promises from Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Obama of continued aid for the city.

Schuette used the nationally broadcasted stage of the RNC to remind the public of the challenges facing the city. He also promised to use his position as attorney general to bring justice to Flint.

“But I will make it right because in Michigan the system is not rigged,” he said. “In Michigan, we have one system of justice, which means the rules apply to all no matter who you are. The families of Flint have not received justice, but I can promise you this justice is coming to Flint.”

In April, Schuette announced charges for three officials in relation to the water crisis for criminal misconduct in office and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Many have considered the lead contamination to be the fault of negligence of the state government, particularly Gov. Rick Snyder — who did not attend the convention.

Protesters have been calling for the Snyder’s resignation for months, as have prominent figures, including Clinton and Sanders.

In an interview with The Daily, Michigan delegate Daniel Bernard said he believed Schuette’s speech was incredible and is glad he continued to put emphasis on Flint.

“I thought he was phenomenal,” he said. “He should have been in primetime. I think it just shows he’s not forgetting. He just didn’t get into it during the news arc then let it drop. He wants to make sure that everyone keeps it in their thoughts and that everyone knows he’s going to keep working until it’s fixed.”

After his discussion of Flint, Schuette moved to discuss larger national issues, hinting at ongoing conflicts surrounding police brutality. Recent killings of Black men by police officers have led to protests, which — in Dallas and Baton Rouge — have turned violent when police officers were killed by lone shooters.

Schuette acknowledged these events, calling for peace through solidarity with law enforcement officers, addressing a cheering crowd.

“Let’s stand and recognize the brave men and women who serve and protect,” he said. “Let’s stand with the police and sheriff’s deputies who demonstrate courage and honor. And let’s stand with the young mother in a city whose children hunger for thirst and hope and a chance. And let’s stand with the parents whose one desire is that their children can go to school safely and learn to read and find the path to the shining city on the hill. Because when we stand with them, when we stand with each other, we stand with the very best America has to offer of freedom, faith and peace.”

Michigan resident Robert Liechty said he enjoyed Schuette’s speech and appreciates his work.

“He’s just a straightforward guy and a great speaker,” he said. “The way he’s supporting Flint right now, he’s just a straight shooter.” 

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