In Minneapolis on May 25, the life of George Floyd was senselessly taken from him by an ex-police officer who was not acting according to the oath he swore to uphold. This type of behavior is not, and would not, be tolerated in Fargo. We have seen waves of protest, which represent decades of legitimate and genuine frustration by millions of people nationwide. I strongly condemn this act and would like to have a moment of silence in memory of George Floyd.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this terrible time.
In Grand Forks on May 27, Police Officer Cody Holte lost his life in the line of duty when responding to a fellow officer’s call for backup assistance. Cody is the twin brother of Fargo Police Officer Brady Holte. I would like to ask for a moment of silence in memory of Cody Holte.
Just as we lost Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer four years ago, we grieve with Cody’s family and friends. These young heroes ran into the crisis and assumed tremendous risk every day; we acknowledge their highest sacrifice and honor their memories.
We have now had a day contemplate this weekend’s events in Downtown Fargo. I understand there is still anger and outrage over what occurred from all parties. I urge all of our community members to not allow rage and division to be the greatest takeaway from this weekend. Instead, remember the powerful unified message from earlier in the day on Saturday, in which we were able to engage in a dialogue involving difficult questions and uncomfortable topics. We have a lot of work to do locally, regionally and nationally on racial equality – and that works needs to take top priority. We heard you. Your voice matters here. You matter. There is no question about that. Let me be clear on this, though - we do not support anarchy and vandalism. That is not us – that is not Fargo. I believe the evening events, which occurred in Downtown Fargo, are the result of outside influencers who are not reflective of our people. Look at the hundreds of people on Sunday morning who chose to exhibit the true spirit of Fargo, and help our City crews in the effort of cleaning up their friends’ and neighbors’ businesses. We need to be Fargo Strong…all of us…together. And we need to find a way to get there – it won’t be easy, it won’t be fast – but the work is necessary and vital to our future.
We are extremely honored to be a metro community of almost 250,000 people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and opinions. We are also honored to employ the brave men and women of the Fargo Police Department who work tirelessly to protect and serve our community. The work Chief Dave Todd and his team did this weekend was nothing short of exemplary. Patience, understanding, restraint and calm are all tenets of the Chief’s leadership and they were on full display when I was with him in incident command throughout the night of the riot. In honor of the work of the Fargo Police Department during this event, I would like to ask for a standing ovation tonight. Thank you.