FLINT, MI — As Flint-area residents prepare for the premiere of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 at The Whiting tonight at 7 p.m., resident and activist April Cook-Hawkins readies herself to answer questions as the movie rolls out something most Flint residents probably didn’t know.
Cook-Hawkins says she is currently seeking legal action against the Genesee County Health Department after officials allegedly asked her to falsify lead results, lost blood samples and paperwork.
“I wanted to let the residents know, but I didn’t know how to do it,” Cook-Hawkins said. “I wanted to make sure I took the correct steps so I could stay secure and assist the best way I can.”
Flint Beat could not immediately reach Genesee County Health officials for comment.
For nearly six months, Cook-Hawkins said she worked for the county. During that time she claims she was asked to enter low blood lead results taken from Flint residents that were high and she witnessed the poor management and loss of blood samples and paperwork.
“The movie shows how I worked for the governmental part of it and how they use you to manipulate the community,” said Cook-Hawkins who worked for the Health Department from October 2015 to May 2016. “It came down to either you’re in with us, or you get out of the situation. I chose to get out of the situation and resign. I didn’t want the blood on my hands.”
Moore’s movie is an examination of government and how it impacts areas like Flint. He explores not just Flint’s lead crisis but also talks about Michigan’s emergency manager law.
“The trailer does not do it justice,” Cook-Hawkins said. “It’s really going to be good for the community,” Cook-Hawkins, who was at the film’s debut in Canada last week. “The community is going to be like thank you. It showcases how they just use different areas like our area, like Flint, to do whatever they want to do (with) no consideration for the community.”
MSNBC will also host a panel discussion on the movie at Factory Two located at 129 N. Grand Traverse in Flint from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2018. The program will fill the show’s one-hour time slot on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 8 to 9 p.m.
The Sept. 11 event is first come first serve. Tickets can be found here.