May 27, 2009

Public Sentiment Turns Against Police in Oregon Taser Killing

I noticed that recent press accounts of the taser-related death of 37-year old Gregory Rold are beginning to question the use of force by the Salem police officers.

One recent article contained the following information:

Several residents of the Carriage Apartments criticized police Tuesday for using what they described as excessive force.

"He was a creep, but does that mean you get killed like a dog? They should have hogtied him, detained him and taken him away," Carita Mendez said.

Mendez lives in a first-floor unit at the Carriage Apartments, directly below the unit where Rold fought with police as his mother looked on. Neighbors said she screamed out the window, pleading for help and saying that police were killing her son.

Mendez said the violence left many residents traumatized.

"We've been crying, us girls have," she said. "It's too much for us. It's sad."

Liz Patterson, co-manager of the complex, described the altercation between Rold and police officers as a tragedy.

"It's a tragedy for the family. It's a tragedy for the police department. It's a tragedy for everybody involved," she said.

The four officers involved were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in cases involving a fatality and use of physical force. One of the officers, Jacob Pratt, was injured during the fight, and was treated at Silverton Hospital. The other three are Eric Brown, Adam Waite, and Cpl. Darron Mumey.

Villagers, I remain convinced that these four officers did not abide by the use of force continuum in this case. The penalty for being a creep or a trespasser is not the death penalty. Something went horribly wrong in Salem OR and as a result Gregory Rold became the 20th person this year to die as a result of taser electrocution in America.

When will the Congressional Black Caucus join over 600 people to demand congressional hearings on this rising incidence of taser torture in America?


Villager said...

I saw this comment on another blog and wanted to share it with interested villagers --

David Matthews has left a new comment on the post "Why Isn't The Media Reporting On Gregory Rold's De...":

I am deeply struck by this as Mr. Rold's aunt is my mother's neighbor, they are also good friends as well.

I visit my mom whenever I get the chance and one person that always stuck out to me everytime with his personality was Mr. Rold as he was never shy to yell across the street "How is your day going" or " How are you doing". A bit odd at times but nothing out of the ordinary for a man who is a skitsofrenick.

So when I heard this story and read the articles about it I needed to hear it from a person that was close to him or was there. What I came to learn was that indeed Greg was trespassing but that he was doing so to get a fresh pair of clothe changing. So in other words a man's life was taken over something so stupid.

I spoke to his mother who was present while all this happened she told me that he had wanted to stop by her apartment to get a changing of clothes and head back to his aunt's where he had been staying as he did not have a place of his own. Something that would have taken 20 minutes at most. Within those 20 minutes police officers arrived on a call of trespassing. Mr.Rold was forced to the ground and arrested.. By 4 police officers as you can see above. His mother then told me that while on the ground a police officer shot Greg with a taser and kept sending a series of electric shocks to him that lasted about 5 minutes. While he was completely man-handled, was not going any where, and was of ABSOLUTE NO THREAT.

For those that don't know the power of a taser; someone struck by a Taser experiences stimulation of his or her sensory nerves and motor nerves resulting in strong involuntary muscle contractions. In other words you go down within seconds of being hit by one... I did a little studying.

As she teared up she told me that her son's last words to her were "Mom, help. They are killing me". After that Greg was dragged outside where the officers realized that somehow he was unconcious after being shot with a taser for 5 minutes. You don't say?!?! How the heck does that happen? Morons. He later died at the hospital.

My question is why did four officers have to use a taser to subdue a man with no weapon???? Were they not all man enough to take a 5'9" 240 pound man down??

Posted by David Matthews to DAWG Oregon at May 28, 2009 3:54 AM

Eddie G. Griffin said...

I found some interesting information on our local medical examiner and his determination of Cause of Death issues. He admits TASER International is intimidating because it sues medical examiners who determine the cause of death as being taser-related. (See