As the nation watched in awe at the crumbling of the World Trade Center Buildings in New York City, more than 150 supporters gathered in Elkhart, Indiana to pay tribute to Roland Rohm. The sorrow of the personal tragedy that lead to the shooting death of Mr. Rohm and Mr. Crosslin could only have been over shadowed by the national catastrophe taking place on the East Coast.
Roland Rohm and Tom Crosslin were attacked August 31, 2001 by over 100 local, state and federal law enforcement agents. The five day standoff left both Rohm and Crosslin dead under suspicious circumstances. Crosslin and Rohm’s activities as owners of the Rainbow Farm Campground in Vandalia, Michigan had led to numerous encounters with County officials over the years primarily over the camp grounds’ pro marijuana legalization stance.
The firm of Janet Frederick-Wilson representative for the families believes that the deaths of Tom Crosslin and Roland Rohm were the result of overzealous law enforcement. Further, that substantial evidence is available to prove that claim in court. The firm is currently investigating three primary avenues in order to substantiate the claim of wrongful death.
“The first priority is to restore Roland Rohm’s son to his family,” states Janet Frederick-Wilson. The firm believes that the Rohm Family is being denied access to the 13 year old son of Roland Rohm, because of continuing forfeiture actions. “The state’s interest in preventing the boy from being reunited with his paternal grandparents at this stage can only be to maintain control over a potential witness,” continued Frederick-Wilson.
The family has hired an independent forensic specialist to review site evidence and perform an autopsy on the remains of Roland Rohm. Tom Crosslin was cremated prior to a second autopsy being ordered on behalf of the family. Physical evidence is being collected from the site to determine who set the fires. Meanwhile the Cass County Prosecutor Scott Teter has provided a timeline of events that suggest a continuing pattern by Cass County MI to impede the First Amendment Rights of Crosslin and Rohm. Independent investigators are researching permitting problems that date back over 7 years.
While the national focus may well have shifted to the tragedy in New York and Washington DC, friends and family members Tom and Roland have not forgotten. A memorial at M60 on the outskirts of Vandalia is still being maintained. Passerbys honk their support, stop to share a memory of Tom and Roland or sign the petition to allow personal use of marijuana by adults. In Kalamazoo, a short drive from Vandalia, a peaceful anti-war protest will be held on September 14, 2001 in Bronson Park adjacent to the Federal Court Building and local FBI offices.
Supporters of the work began in Michigan by Tom and Roland are encourage to say join the family at the Rainbow Farm for a memorial service on Saturday September 15, 2001 from 1pm to 6pm (EST).
Rainbow Farm: www.rainbowfarmcampground.com
Tom Crosslin and Rolland Rohm memorial: www.freedomtoexhale.com/rb.htm