Black Lives Matter Fargo, along with OneFargo, has announced they will hold events this weekend.
On Friday, which is known as Juneteenth, which is the day of liberation of Black Americans from chattel slavery, the group will be marching the streets of Fargo. The event will begin at 9 a.m. in Island Park, according to event details, and will proceed to Fargo City Hall, before heading back to Island Park. The march itself will begin at 10 a.m.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney says the group said they’d “rather do rallies and protests than talk.” Mahoney himself says the city wants to change and fix things and ask them to come to the table—saying there is no “need to protest anymore.”
“Let’s sit down and talk about it,” he says. “Let’s see what we can change to make the community better. It’s time we sit down and get some work done.”
Mahoney says the group does not have a permit in the City of Fargo.
“The four members of OneFargo will be liable for any damage that occurs downtown in the City of Fargo,” Mahoney says. “I anticipate a peaceful demonstration.”
The group has developed a list of demands, saying they will continue to march until those demands are met. The demands include:
- Having North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem take over the Fargo Police Department internal investigation from Mahoney;
- Upgrading charges against Michael Griffin to attempted murder for striking a protester with his vehicle;
- Having Mahoney resume taking action on the list of demands he committed to, and;
- Having Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick drop charges against protesters for “rioting” or “terrorizing”, which organizers say are tainted by the actions of former Deputy Chief Todd Osmundson’s instigations, which they say were authorized by Fargo Police Chief David Todd.
“And we will keep marching until the killing stops,” the group states in a document obtained by WZFG News.
Mahoney says the City of Fargo will be releasing information with regards to the internal investigation soon.
“I anticipate we’ll be holding a press conference within the next 24 hours,” he says.
Griffin has been charged with a Class A Felony of aggravated assault-serious bodily injury-dangerous weapon-adult victim and a Class C Felony of reckless endangerment-extreme indifference.
In addition, several protesters were arrested in the days following the events.
“I don’t have any power to change charges or releases anyone,” Mahoney says.