[sixties-l] FEAR's report on the Rainbow Farm tragedy

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Thu Sep 06 2001 - 20:09:01 EDT

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          Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001
          From: Brenda Grantland - bgrantland@mindspring.com

          Subject: FEAR: FEAR's report on the Rainbow Farm tragedy

          Organization: Forfeiture Endangers American Rights

          Amid a flurry of internet questions about what happened at Rainbow
          Farm, and a near total blackout in the mainstream press, we've asked
          Ellen Komp to give an accurate report on the subject, summarizing all
          the available information. Here's her report:


          Drug War Waco on FBI Chief Mueller's
          First Day in Office
          Forfeiture Stand-Off Ends in Two Deaths

          by Ellen Komp, anti-Drug War activist, 09/05/01

          Grover T. "Tom" Crosslin, 47, who owned Rainbow Farm campground in
          Newberg Township, Michigan, was shot and killed by an FBI "observer"
          on Monday, September 3 after a four-day standoff at the campground.
          One day later, Crosslin's roommate Rolland Eugene Rohm, 28, was
          fatally shot at the property by a Michigan State Police officer. Both
          men allegedly aimed guns at the law enforcement agents who shot them.

          According to news reports from local papers and the Associated Press,
          the situation began Friday when deputies went to the farm after
          neighbors said Crosslin was burning buildings on his property, which
          is the target of civil forfeiture proceedings. The fires "were set by
          Crosslin - not law enforcement," a statement earlier Monday
          expressing hope for a peaceful resolution said. "It should be noted
          forfeiture proceedings for this property had previously been
          initiated in May 2001 and Crosslin was aware of the fact he was in
          the process of losing Rainbow Farm," the statement said.

          "This drug war isn't a metaphor anymore. They're killing us now for
          resisting them," said attorney Brenda Grantland, President of the
          Board of Directors of FEAR (Forfeiture Endangers Americans Rights,

          Authorities arrested Crosslin and five others in May after a two-year
          investigation into allegations of marijuana use at the 34-acre
          campground. A court order issued in June prohibited Crosslin from
          having festival gatherings at the farm, whose Web site says it
          ''supports the medical, spiritual and responsible recreational uses
          of marijuana for a more sane and compassionate America.'' Police
          allege he violated the order by holding a festival August 17-18,
          which prompted the bond hearing.

          Crosslin, owner of Rainbow Farm since 1993, had been charged in May
          with manufacturing marijuana, more than 200 plants, a 15-year felony;
          maintaining a drug house, a two-year misdemeanor; and felony firearm,
          a five-year felony. Rohm was charged with manufacturing marijuana,
          maintaining a drug house and felony firearm.

          Crosslin was scheduled to appear in court Friday for a hearing to
          revoke his $150,000 bond. But instead he skipped the hearing and then
          allegedly set fire to buildings on his property, which he had stood
          to lose under the state's Drug Forfeiture Act. Police said an
          anonymous telephone caller told them the fires were set "to ambush
          law enforcement officers when they arrived in response to the fire.''

          It's believed Crosslin or Rohm fired shots at three aircraft that
          flew over the property. One of the aircraft, a helicopter used by
          WNDU-TV, Channel 16, South Bend, was damaged.

          The FBI had joined Cass County Sheriff's deputies and Michigan State
          Police on Sunday. On Monday, Crosslin had federal charges levied
          against him, resulting in the dispatch of FBI agents and a federal
          warrant against Crosslin on charges of attempted destruction of an
          aircraft and using a firearm to commit a felony. He was facing up to
          30 years in prison if convicted of those.

          Rohm's stepfather, John Livermore, said he and Rohm's mother drove
          all night from Tennessee to try to help police negotiate, but were
          never allowed to speak to Rohm, who Livermore said has a learning
          disability. Livermore said he believes Rohm left the house because he
          thought police were going to allow him to see his 12-year-old son,
          Robert. The boy had been taken from the campground and put into
          foster care by the Family Independence Agency after the drug arrests
          in May, according to Crosslin's attorney Dori Leo.

          Early Tuesday, Rohm had said he would surrender at 7 a.m. if his son
          were brought to see him, Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood, Jr.
          said. The sheriff said police were in the process of granting the
          request when shortly after 6 a.m., a fire was reported at the
          compound. Rohm was then seen leaving the residence with a long gun
          and walking into the yard, Underwood said. That's when the
          confrontation with police took place.

          Buzz Daily, 44, a Cass County farmer, said Crosslin and Rohm were
          known for their generosity. At Christmas, he said, they would drive
          their pickup truck into Vandalia and distribute gifts throughout the
          town of about 350 residents. They also would buy food and clothes for
          people staying at the campground, he said.

          Daily also lashed out at police, saying he could not imagine Crosslin
          or Rohm brandishing a weapon. "I'm surprised that with all the money
          (police) put into this, they didn't have any non-lethal means of
          resolving this," said Daily, who said he'd known the pair for about
          five years and attended several HempAid festivals at the campground.

          Daily and others said they weren't sure what would happen to Rainbow
          Farm. But he urged those who support forfeiture reform or marijuana
          legalization to come to the funerals for Crosslin and Rohm. Funeral
          arrangements had not been determined on Tuesday afternoon, Rohm's
          family said.

          Vandalia is about 30 miles northeast of South Bend, Ind., in
          southwest Michigan. A historical marker in the town park describes
          Vandalia as a one-time junction on the Underground Railroad. Slaves
          escaping through Illinois and Indiana were taken in by local Quakers,
          who guided the slaves east into Canada.

          The campground, at 59896 Pemberton Road in Newberg Township, includes
          shower and bathroom facilities, a coffee bar called The Joint and a
          hemp-themed gift shop. Each year it hosts two festivals called
          HempAid and RoachRoast, according to the Web site

          This story was culled from several news accounts available at

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