Skip to content

Keli Knight of KMR Law Group talks their ‘Clean Water for Flint’ initiative

Keli Knight

Photo: Angela Carpenter courtesy of KMR Law Group

How did KMR Law Group come to the decision to take action regarding the water situation in Flint?
We have been getting so much publicity lately, with all of the excitement surrounding the idea of an all-Black, women-owned law firm that essentially started via Twitter. We figured it was only right to try to steer the attention toward a situation and group of people far more deserving than ourselves. Yondi mentioned desperately wanting to make a difference and Jessica and I share her passion for charity, especially to assist minorities. There’s no way that we can know of such a tragic situation and stand by and do nothing.

Part of your plan is to donate to Black churches in the area to ensure that the water gets to the people. After seeing how other crisis situations such as Katrina or Haiti were handled by big charitable organizations do you believe there is a bit of mistrust when they offer to help in situations like this?
Just this morning, a friend of ours posted a picture on Instagram of cases of canned water that had been sent by the government to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The caption reminded us how the water smelled and tasted of metal and that no one was willing to drink it. Sometimes, people may mean well, but in doing things on a large scale, a bit of the genuine care and thoughtfulness and “would I want to be treated this way” concept gets lost. Beyond that, of course there’s always mistrust that comes from flat-out dishonesty. We all read the stories of how people in need never actually received the resources donated in cases like the aforementioned.

There is some chatter that Gov. Synder should resign and maybe even be prosecuted for letting the situation come to this. As officers of the court, can you tell us what the circumstances would or should be that could possibly see him brought up on charges? Can the residents of Flint sue for damages?
It is my opinion that it is more likely that he would resign than anything, given the protections that elected officials are often afforded, unfortunately. It would also be more likely that Flint residents would file a class action suit [some already have] against the city to recover on a civil level instead of the governor facing personal criminal charges

Could other officials potentially be punished?
This will be definitely be a story to follow as this will continue to unfold for such a long time. After all, the effects of lead poisoning may not even manifest for quite some time but the damage will be long-lasting. The possibilities are endless for the consequences city and state officials may face.

Any other projects or events on the horizon for KMR Law Group?
Depending on how this water drive turns out, we may do a second round. We gave people very short notice to donate, and we understand that the need will be ongoing, so we may have to make another trip.

Beyond that, KMR will continue to do what we do best: offer transparent and cost effective legal counsel to our real estate, corporate, estate planning and entertainment clients; providing temporary jobs to attorneys via KMR Legal Staffing, which assists law firms and corporations with their outsourcing needs; and giving back to the community in any way we can.

KMR Law Group is driving to Flint, Michigan, on Saturday Jan. 23 to deliver clean drinking water to residents in desperate need. They are accepting cash donations to purchase water and have two drop-off centers in Chicago if you would prefer to drop off water. For more information, please email [email protected]

kmr flyer