Man, it's been a lot of work piecing together what happened in the case of Gregory Rold, but it's an endeavor worth taking on. The Salem Statesman Journal has been helpful. Here's an update with some new information from their website...
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 Tuesday.
Patterson said that Rold's mother, Felisa Rold, and his brother, Darius Ludwig, had been tenants at the Carriage Apartments since September. The family came to the United States from the Marshall Islands, she said.
Gregory Rold had served jail time for crimes ranging from assault to giving alcohol to juveniles, according to court records.
In 2004, he spent a week in jail when he was convicted of assaulting a public safety officer. In 2005, Rold was convicted of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to five days in jail.
Rold was convicted in 2006 on a trespassing charge. He served 25 days in jail. Rold's most recent conviction was in October 2008, when he was convicted of furnishing liquor to a minor.
About two weeks ago, he was banned from the apartments.
"The action was taken because of inappropriate behavior and remarks to other tenants," Patterson said.
The fact that his family moved here from the Marshall Islands may explain part of the problem. Beside the cultural differences, there may have been language differences as well. The population of the Marshalls is largely Micronesian. Over 50% of the people are Protestants and there other Christian groups. Marshallese, a Malayo-Polynesian tongue, and English are the official languages; Japanese is also spoken. Of course this fails to explain why 10 of the 20 Taser related deaths so far this year in the US have been black men..., nor does it answer the question of whether or not he had a developmental disability, which would further complicate things.
I asked the Chairwoman of the Salem Human Rights Commission if she felt the Salem police have had satisfatory training on dealing with people who have developmental disabilities yesterday, but she didn't answer that question.